A nearly two-year investigation into Tennessee’s football and basketball programs has resulted in a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, the school announced Wednesday morning.
While a sizable chunk of the allegations are dedicated to Bruce Pearl‘s basketball program, the Lane Kiffin “Era” in Knoxville came under the microscope as well. Perhaps most damning was the NCAA’s charging Kiffin with a “failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several assistant coaches.”
The “failure to monitor” aspect was first reported by Clay Travis of AOL Fanhouse earlier this month.
The charges stem in part from UT recruiting hostesses having impermissible contact with potential recruits, as well as at least one assistant, David Reaves — a Kiffin assistant and the current USC head coach’s brother-in-law — making improper contact with recruits.
In addition to the charge against Kiffin of a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, the notice contains the following allegations of violation of NCAA rules against the football program:
— By former members of the football coaching staff: impermissible telephone contact (16 total calls) with prospective student-athletes from Jan. 3-9, 2010.
— By a former assistant football coach: allegations relating to impermissible contacts with prospective student-athletes.
— Permitting a football recruiting intern to make impermissible contact with high school staff during a recruiting visit
““Receipt of the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations by the University of Tennessee is another step in bringing this matter to conclusion.,” UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said in a statement. “Our institution has operated in complete cooperation with the NCAA since April 2009 as they have pursued their investigation. We take these allegations seriously and most items noted in this document have already been reported broadly. I would like to thank the NCAA enforcement staff for their professionalism and guidance during this process.”
As the Notice of Allegations involved their current head coach, USC also received a copy of the NCAA’s letter. Athletic director Pat Haden released a statement through the school, and reiterated his support of his football coach.
“We have received from the NCAA a notice of allegations against Lane Kiffin pertaining to his tenure as the head football coach at Tennessee,” Haden said in the statement. “The NCAA enforcement process provides for Tennessee and Lane to address those charges. Until that process is completed, it would be unfair and premature for me or USC to comment on this matter. …
“However, I will say this: Since his return to USC last year as our head football coach, Lane has been vigilant in making sure he and the football program follow the NCAA’s rules and compete the right way. Lane has my support as our head football coach.”
Kiffin declined to comment on the advice of his attorney.
“We have received the notice of allegations,” Kiffin said. “On the advice of my legal counsel, we cannot comment other than to say we look forward to working through the process with the NCAA.”
Per the Vols’ release, the University has a deadline of May 21, 2011 to formulate and submit a response to this Notice of Allegations to the NCAA. It is anticipated that the University’s appearance before the Committee on Infractions will be during the committee’s meeting on June 10-11, 2011.
The school will have no further comment on the situation.