Nearly 13 months after he left for his dream job at USC, Tennessee still can’t escape the lingering effects of Lane Kiffin‘s one-year tenure on Rocky Top.
In an excellent piece appearing on the AOL Fanhouse website Wednesday evening, writer Clay Travis writes that the “NCAA will cite the University of Tennessee’s football program with a failure to monitor a violation stemming” from Kiffin’s time at the school. Additionally, the NCAA will cite Kiffin, as well as former UT assistant David Reaves, personally with a “failure to monitor” violation.
The alleged violations stems from the now-disbanded Orange Pride program — including hostesses who allegedly made improper contact with potential recruits — as well as Reaves himself allegedly making improper contact with recruits. Travis writes that “the NCAA has determined that Reaves… provid[ed] written and oral instruction to the Vol hostesses about which top recruits to contact, how to contact them, and asked for updates on those conversations, which occurred either via Facebook, text message or phone call.”
Reaves denied the allegations to the NCAA during the course of an investigation that began early last year, but sources both inside and outside of the football program told Travis that the NCAA has evidence that proves otherwise.
If Kiffin is hit with a ‘failure to monitor’ violation, he could face sanctions from the NCAA that would impact his current job, including, but not limited to, recruiting restrictions. Travis writes that the “decision to pursue charges against Kiffin and Reaves represents an expansive assault on not just the Volunteer football program, but the coaches themselves.”
A prominent NCAA attorney, Mark Jones, chair of the law firm Ice Miller’s collegiate sports practice, said that “failure to monitor allegations are almost always classified as a major violation,” but that punishments for failure to monitor can vary significantly based upon the NCAA’s opinion of the severity of those violations.
Jones also stated that situations where coaches commit a violation and then move on to another school and receive punishment are “not the norm, but in the past twenty-five years that has happened in a number of cases.”
The most recent example of a coach with a checkered past being slammed was Kelvin Sampson, the disgraced former Indiana coach who was handed a five-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA that effectively acts as a five-year college coaching ban. Sampson’s penalty occurred after continued improper recruiting contacts. But Sampson was a serial rule violator, having previously been punished at Oklahoma prior to arriving at Indiana.
Other than a handful of secondary violations, Kiffin has yet to find himself on the really wrong side of the NCAA.
An official notice of allegations has yet to be received by any party involved, but is expected to arrive in the not-too-distant future. Once the notice has been received, those involved will have 90 days to respond to the findings.
A hearing is currently scheduled for sometime this summer.