Report: Tennessee Athletics Committed Trio Of Level III Violations In 2021

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    Tennessee committed a trio of level three NCAA violations during 2021 and self reported itself, according to a report Tuesday.

    The three incidents weren’t connected as three different sports — football, basketball and an Olympic sport was included.

    The detail on the Olympic sport incident —including what Olympic sport — is limited. The report says that the director  of Olympic sports performance — Barry Cain — publicized voluntary student-athlete workouts.

    According to Tennessee, Cain “currently oversees training efforts for UT’s track & field/cross country program.”

    The football incident occurred during the Vol Walk before the Ole Miss game. Tennessee’s planned spot for visitors to watch the Vols make their way down Peyton Manning Pass to Phillip Fulmer Way fell through when the massive crowds took over the spot.

    With congestion all around Neyland Stadium, Tennessee decided for the recruits to proceed the team to Neyland Stadium through the path the Vol Walk created.

    Tennessee basketball’s violation was very small. While a recruit was visiting Tennessee in June, he did a photo shoot on the Thompson-Boling Arena court wearing a UT uniform.

    The practice is common in all of recruiting, but the violation occurred when the recruit dribbled the basketball he was holding on the court. That broke NCAA rules on coaches being able to watch players compete on visits.

    If the photoshoot occurred in the locker room instead of the Thompson-Boling Arena court, there would have been no violations.

    The trio of level three-violations are not serious, and it is common for schools to self report them every season.

    “Level III violations are a byproduct of a healthy compliance program,” UT senior associate athletics director for compliance J.B. Bowling said in a statement to KNS. “There are thousands of NCAA rules and interpretations of those rules, so it is expected that inadvertent, minor violations may occur on occasion. We will continue to address issues such as these as part of our normal compliance program.”

    In comparison, during Tennessee football’s internal investigations into wrong doing, Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman expressed concern at the number of Level I and II violations committed by UT staffers.

    “What is so disturbing is demonstrated by the scope of these employment actions we are announcing today is the number of violations and the number of people involved and their efforts to conceal their activities from our compliance staff and the leadership within the athletic department,” Plowman said following Jeremy Pruitt’s ouster.

    Tennessee self reported the three violations and offered minor punishments for the football and basketball programs including the reduction of to recruiting days (basketball) and reduction of recruiting contact opportunities (football).

    While basketball didn’t receive any additional punishment from the SEC or NCAA, the report says the SEC didn’t allow Tennessee to have any in person contact with the recruits for 14 days and the NCAA required UT to suspend its director of recruiting for a single game.

    The Vols held training on the rules for the incident connected to Olympic sports.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.