NCAA probing Tennessee’s recruiting practices

By Adam Silverstein
December 9, 2009

The NCAA is conducting a “wide-ranging investigation” into the recruiting practices of the Tennessee Volunteers football program, according to an article published by The New York Times. The NCAA has interviewed recruits, their families, head coaches and school administrators about some methods the Volunteers have utilized while recruiting – most prominently the use of “recruiting hostesses.”

N.C.A.A. officials have visited four prospects and are scheduled to visit two others this week in an investigation covering at least three states. The inquiry is unusual in its scope and its timing. It is rare that the N.C.A.A. looks at this wide a swath of one university’s recruits before the players have signed with a program in February.

As the Times defines them, recruiting hostesses are “students who are part of a formal group at the university that hosts all manner of prospective students at campus visits.” Apparently, the NCAA has proof that these students were not only used on campus, but some even traveled to South Carolina (and perhaps other locations) to visit five-star running back Marcus Lattimore (Duncan, SC) at one of his games with signs reading: “Come to Tennessee.” Because these students represent the university, their recruiting of players off-campus would be a violation of NCAA rules.

Tennessee is also allegedly using recruiting hostesses to recruit players through social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, according to the Times. And on impressionable young athletes, the influence of beautiful women can be quite appealing. “You don’t want to go to a college where they ain’t pretty,” Lattimore said.

More relevant to the Florida Gators, one of the prospects visited by the NCAA was four-star wide receiver recruit Chris Dunkley (Pahokee, FL), considered by some to be a heavy Florida lean. Dunkley told the Times that the NCAA did indeed interview him but did not comment any further.

It is not common for the NCAA to hold this type of investigation before National Signing Day, though the Times speculates that head coach Lane Kiffin’s numerous secondary violations may have triggered a closer look into these allegations. For more on the story, please read the Times article linked above.

8 Comments

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Lane needs to open his own soup kitchen as his pot is going to be getting stirred here pretty soon. Glad this dildo is about to have his day.

  2. O-town Gator says:

    Like I said before, the Walls of Jericho are stating to come tumbling down on Lane Kiffin. Good, and I hope they hurt him like hell.

  3. ReptilesRule says:

    This is not surprising. The NCAA has its big eye on Mr Kiffin.

  4. O-town Gator says:

    Honestly, I hope that this is only the tip of the iceberg where Kiffin’s concerned. If he’s penalized by the NCAA for recruiting violations he deserves it; also, IMO it’s time for Mike Slive to have a serious one-on-one chat with him about his behavior – it’s unprofessional and childish, to say the least. His constant baiting and taunting of other coaches, especially that directed towards Urban Meyer, needs to stop. Things were somewhat civilized until that imbecile came along, and now there seems to be no peace in the SEC since he was named to succeed Phil Fulmer.

  5. Grammar Polise says:

    Hey, NCAA is never to include periods. It’s “NCAA” and never “N.C.A.A.” Check your AP Style Manual.

  6. Thank you for the comment, Grammar Polise (which is actually spelled “police”). However, your comment should be directed to the editor of The New York Times as it is that publication which was quoted in the above block. The Times, for whatever reason, always uses periods when referring to organizations like the NCAA and NFL in short form.

  7. Chris C. says:

    Gators fans are bitter. Sugar bowl, lol. Go Cincy!

  8. Gatorfan33 says:

    Well he runs his mouth all of the time and draws too much attention to himself. UT fans will get tired of his talking and lack of results and run him out after 3 years. Year 1 is done, 2 more to go.

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