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Tennessee Trouble

2009 December 10
by Phil Miller

The fact that college athletics has a salary cap on players = $0 forces schools to use non-pecuniary means to attract the top recruits. According to the New York Times, the University of Tennessee is under NCAA investigation for using hostesses to attract recruits.

Marcus Lattimore, a running back who made an unofficial visit to Tennessee but said he would not enroll there, said multiple Tennessee hostesses attended a game at James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C., in September. He said they brought signs, including one that read, “Come to Tennessee.”

“I haven’t seen no other schools do that,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

The hostesses are considered representatives of the university, which would mean they could not recruit players off campus. Therefore, the visits may be considered violations of N.C.A.A. recruiting rules.

Two of Lattimore’s teammates, Brandon Willis and Corey Miller, have orally committed to Tennessee. Lattimore described the hostesses as “real pretty, real nice and just real cool.” He said he thought they had “a lot” of influence in Miller’s and Willis’s commitments to Tennessee.

…“You don’t want to go to a college where they ain’t pretty,” Lattimore said.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. The article notes that Tennessee has had “at least six secondary violations” since Coach Lane Kiffin took the Vol’s job one year ago. Those will likely play some role in what the NCAA rules.

Via the Wiz of Odds

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