At least for the time being, a scandal involving NFL agents and a handful of former/current SEC players has cost one of the latter the remainder of his collegiate playing career.
Tennessee announced Friday afternoon that defensive lineman Maurice Couch (pictured, left) has been ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA. It was alleged in a mid-September Yahoo! report that Couch had received impermissible benefits from former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis , who reportedly served as a middleman between NFL agents, financial advisers and college football players.
The Vols stated that they intend to appeal the NCAA’s decision.
“At the end of the day, what’s most important is I have my family, my degree, and love n support from the Volnation!” Couch wrote on Twitter shortly after UT’s announcement. “And thanks to UT, coaches, teammates, Volnation, and everyone else involved sincerely appreciate everything you done for me.”
Couch was ruled ineligible by UT one day after that report surfaced and has kept the redshirt senior sidelined for the past six games. Couch will remain sidelined while the university goes through the appeals process.
The lineman was the only current player mentioned by name in the report. The other players mentioned were from the SEC but are no longer playing at the collegiate level: Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and receiver Chad Bumphis.
There has been no word yet on whether Alabama, Mississippi State or Tennessee will face sanctions from the NCAA over the allegations. Each of the schools with players connected to the impermissible benefits scandal are in the midst of conducting internal investigations.