The investigation into the Tennessee football program has been ongoing since late November of 2020. According to athletic director Danny White, he doesn’t have an updated timeframe on when it will conclude. Speaking to the Knoxville Rotary Club on Tuesday, White made it a point to say that though the investigation feels like it has been going on forever, it could be a lot worse than other programs around the country.
While answering questions from members, Danny White said that they are hoping the work they are doing alongside the NCAA will prevent this investigation from dragging on for multiple years.
He also complimented Chancellor Donde Plowman for her swift action in getting the ball moving.
“I think it was really smart for the decision that the Chancellor ultimately made to act as swiftly as she did and our leadership did to partner with the NCAA from the beginning,” White said. “So we’re not going to investigate this thing and then hand it over to the NCAA, where they have to go investigate it again. So they’ve been involved in every single interview, every step of the way. We hired outside counsel that is the most reputable by far in terms of work with the NCAA staff.”
In terms of working with the NCAA staff and university-hired lawyers, White mentioned the daily contact his administration has with the enforcement staff at the NCAA, so they don’t have to repeat this investigation and have it drag on for years.
“Our staff is talking to the enforcement staff daily, so it may feel like it’s going slow because it’s been six, seven months since we started, but when you look at some other cases around the country, the last three, four, five years,” White said. “We want to prevent that from happening. We want to get through it, show that we’re going to operate from a place of high integrity and want to put this thing behind us, and I am confident that’s what we’re going to do and what we’re doing, but I can’t put a time frame on it.”
In total, so far, Tennessee has spent over $756,000 on attorney fees through June. We have requested the invoice for July, which the school has received around the midway point of each month.