Even more Tennessee violations on the horizon?

By Adam Silverstein
December 12, 2009

On Wednesday, OGGOA reported that the NCAA is in the middle of 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 report surrounded the NCAA’s interviewing of recruits, their families, head coaches and school administrators about some methods the Volunteers utilized while recruiting – most prominently the use of “recruiting hostesses” named the Orange Pride.

The Times published a follow-up report Friday evening with additional accusations and more information on some of the questionable recruiting practices being utilized by the school. These range from the improper use of a recruiting intern to sexual advances made by members of the Orange Pride to recruits during official visits.

The Southeastern Conference is investigating the role that Volunteers recruiting intern Steve Rubio played during a trip to St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Rubio, a graduate of the school, visited St. Thomas Aquinas with head coach Lane Kiffin and may have done recruiting work or contacted players during the trip. He is not allowed, per NCAA rules, to recruit off of the Tennessee campus.

Furthering the allegations initially brought to light on Wednesday, The Times picked up Sports Illustrated‘s picture of two hostesses traveling over 200 miles to a South Carolina high school football game with a sign reading “Miller and Willis Have Our Hearts” The trip was conducted and the sign was created in order to woo recruits Brandon Willis and Corey Miller of James F. Byrnes High School. The presence of these women alone is expected to be enough to draw a violation; however, the extent of the coaches’ knowledge and direction about their practices will determine the punishment’s severity.

That is not all.

Also on Friday, Keith Easterwood, a veteran summer basketball coach, said that on a visit last year with his son, a football recruit, he had to ask a hostess to stop brushing her breasts against both him and his son. He recalled saying, “Young lady, if you don’t stop doing that, we’ve got a problem.”

Eastwood said that Tennessee’s recuriting hostess program is the most “orchestrated and aggressive” he has seen in almost three decades as a coach. Taking a group of his players to a Volunteers game this season, he said the “presence of the hostesses had his players ‘literally reduced to blubbering idiots.'” “I’ve been up there five times, four for football and one basketball visit,” Easterwood told The Times. “My observation is that this is a very organized operation. These girls have obviously been groomed. There’s a lot of eye contact and touching.”

12 Comments

  1. ReptilesRule says:

    Wow, those people up there at UT are sleazy!!! I see where Kiffin is brushing it all off like he is Teflon Don or something but when you look at his pattern of behavior and his cavalier attitude towards the rules, it’s very hard to believe that rules are not being violated big time…

  2. Aligator says:

    we had the gator getters back in the day, now that was out of hand ….

  3. Gatorfan33 says:

    Hearing that Kiffin could be in even hotter water and UT could be punished really saddens me. 😈

  4. Rich says:

    They say all is fair in love, war and recruiting but if they are breaking rules I hope they get exposed. I say burn baby burn… Great time for all this too, heading toward the final stretch run of recruiting.

  5. O-town Gator says:

    Lane Kiffin deserves what he’s ggeting dished out at him right now – as far as I’m concerned, he was bad news from day one.

    He obviously never read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” based on his buffoonery and habit of bad-mouthing other coaches, but that pales in comparison to violating NCAA rules. He may thing his constantly hitting Urban Meyer below the belt is amusing, but thank God Meyer’s smart enough to ignore his antics.

    Maybe the admins at Rocky Top were a little too quick on the trigger to send Phil Fulmer packing when they did – after all, hindsight is 20-20.

  6. Mr2Bits says:

    Does anyone keep confusing the word “hostess” with prostitute?

  7. GatorMac22 says:

    Hope kiffin burns this!! I can’t stand the dude, F him and Tennessee!!

  8. gatormiami says:

    Bozo is a good name for Lane Kiffin. He’ll obviously do anything to build a program with no regard to rules or civility. He received the job based upon his ability to bring his father along as DC. Lane is nothing without Monte… And Sleaze is his middle name. Bozo will take Tennessee down with him & Vols fans will beg to return to the days of Fulmer!

  9. gatormiami says:

    Florida would never put up with the likes of Lane Sleaze Kiffin…..

  10. BRLGator says:

    coaches are really good at insulating themselves from these shaningans even though they typically know or encourage the behavior when you ve had the success that kiffin has at recruiting and turning around the culuture at UT some one will fall on the sword for lane if it comes to that all in all i bet this is a positive for UT program its december tenn had a mediocre yet promising year they are playing in an above average bowl game and everyone is still talking about them lane will turn this into an advantage

  11. Gatorfan33 says:

    How do you turn potential NCAA sanctions into a positive? This thing gets uglier as time goes by and he may lose scholarships when all is said and done. This thing (Kiffin being UT’s HC) has 3 and done written all over it.

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