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BREAKING: Tony Vitello Suspended For Weekend Series Against Dayton

Tony Vitello
Tennessee HC Tony Vitello. Photo by Rocky Top Insider.

Tennessee is suspending baseball coach Tony Vitello for its weekend series against Dayton due to its recruitment of Kansas star Maui Ahuna, 247sports Ben McKee first reported.

“The University and Coach Vitello are working collaboratively with the NCAA to address a violation in the program,” Tennessee said in a statement. “Coach Vitello will be suspended for this weekend’s series, with Josh Elander serving as acting head coach, and we will provide an update on Monday. Coach Vitello has acknowledged his mistake and accepted full responsibility.

“We appreciate his cooperation in the process and his dedication to do right by the student-athletes in the Tennessee baseball program. NCAA bylaws prohibit additional comment or details. The University will continue to emphasize—to all staff—the imperative of leading with honesty and integrity.

Associate head coach Josh Elander was announced as Tennessee’s head coach at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

“Just to be straight up, I understand, respect you guys have a job to do but I’ve been told there’s nothing really I can say on Tony’s deal,” Elander said postgame. “Anything I can say on baseball I’d be more than happy to answer.”

Ahuna transferred to Tennessee this offseason after two standout seasons at Kansas and is currently ineligible from the NCAA due to Tennessee tampering violations in his pursuit of the coach.

More From RTI: Maui Ahuna Handling His Ineligibility ‘Like A Champ’

This is the third suspension Vitello has served as Tennessee’s head coach but the first related to compliance issues. The first came in his first season when he was ejected from a loss against Kentucky.

Vitello’s second suspension came last season when he bumped umpire Jeffrey Macias in Tennessee’s series opening loss to Alabama.

The Vols enter their second weekend of play 3-2 with two wins over Alabama A&M and a win over UC-San Diego. Tennessee dropped games to Arizona and GCU.

Tennessee hosts Dayton for a three-game weekend series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Friday’s game Is at 4:30 p.m.ET. Saturday’s game is at 2 p.m. ET and Sunday’s game is at 1 p.m. ET.

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