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Tennessee's use of 'hostesses' drawing attention from NCAA

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kiffinlane3.jpgThe NCAA is investigating whether the University of Tennessee committed any recruiting violations by allegedly unleashing an army of pretty girls to potential recruits' games, according to a report from the New York Times.

This issue puts Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin in the spotlight again. Since taking over as coach, the university has committed at least six secondary NCAA violations.

This time, it's the alleged use of "hostesses" that has captured the attention of the powers-that-be. The group is responsible for hosting potential students on visits -- including athletes--  something far from unique to Tennessee. It's how they're going about it that's causing the alleged problem.

It was not clear whether the university sent the hostesses to visit the football players, the newspaper (New York Times) reported.

In one case, hostesses traveled nearly 200 miles to attend a football game at James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C., one of the nation's best high school football programs, where at least three potential Tennessee recruits were playing, according to the report.

Marcus Lattimore, a running back who had made an unofficial visit to Tennessee but was not interested in attending the school, said the hostesses brought signs, including one that read, "Come to Tennessee," according to the report.

Two of Lattimore's high school teammates, Brandon Willis and Corey Miller, have orally committed to Tennessee. Lattimore said the hostesses were "real pretty, real nice and just real cool" and thinks they had "a lot" of influence in his teammates making oral commitments, according to the report.

"I haven't seen no other schools do that," Lattimore said, according to the report. "It's crazy."
Then, Lattimore clinches it.

"You don't want to go to a college where they ain't pretty."

No, no you don't, Marcus.

Again, all of this is very speculative, but one wonders if these hostesses would make the 200-mile trip to a high school football game if they weren't asked to. Those things tend to take place on Friday nights, when many college students find better -- and less constructive -- things to do.

Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton confirmed the school was being investigated, but declined comment on the allegations.

Do you think this is being blown out of proportion or another Kiffin-related problem for the orange and white?

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6 Comments

Well, if they "volunteered" to go, then it's all good, right??

Would it surprise an enetrprising reporter to know that Tennessee has fewer secondary violations and fewer players arrested in the past year than the following: LSU, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and on and on and on.

Lazy writers have decided to parrot the lazy storyline that Kiffin is a rogue when, in fact, the secondary violations are among the fewest in major college football. The NCAA believes that a program which is not reporting secondary violations has an obvious problem with compliance.

The so-called Kiffin-related problems are miniscule, but it is easy to trump them up into something that seems serious when you leave out all of the other data.

The real story is that Kiffin has been wildly successful in stealing recruits from other programs so those spurned coaches and programs bend the ear of the NCAA and a lazy reporter or two.

You just made yourself a pawn in the South's second greatest sport--college football recruiting wars.

Dear Kyle,

Here's one vote for "blown out of proportion".

In terms of newsworthy, I think this one is right up there with "Dog Bites Man".

"The real story is that Kiffin has been wildly successful in stealing recruits from other programs..."

Yeah, how bout that wildly successful theft of Nu'Keese, hmm?

wish that I was on ol' rocky top
down in the Tennessee hills
throw up you hands and open your wallets now
give me all your twenty dollar bills

Pegasus

Nu'Keese is gone. If he had signed with Florida, like Urban wanted him to do, then he would have been committing his penalties and felonies and he'd still be playing. Oh, he might be assigned to run stadium steps or mop up Tebow tears, maybe he would have had to sit out the first half of the Vanderbilt game, but he'd be playing.

Florida leads the nation in players arrested during the Meyer era. Nu'Keese was a bad seed but he is gone in half a season. It isn't like every other team didn't want him.

The two (stupid) players involved with the "robbbery" are long gone.

"but one wonders if these hostesses would make the 200-mile trip to a high school football game if they weren't asked to"

I understand one of the girls who attended the game is from Spartanburg (where Duncan High is located). That's one reason the girls struck up a relationship with the players. Same hometown, or near. Interesting story in Knoxville paper today quoting extensively from Corey Miller's dad.

http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2009/dec/09/miller-says-ut-did-no-wrong/

Don't you think it's strange that these girls attended a game almost 3 months ago (Sept. 25, and after both Miller and Willis committed to TN) and it was just now reported by someone to the NCAA? You think someone thinks they can turn these TN commits with an NCAA investigation? As for me, I think some other school continuing to recruit Miller, Willis and also the uncommitted Lattimore learned about the ongoing communication with one or more of the girls and the players and dropped a dime on the Vols.

Speaking of curious, out of the hundreds of photos of Lane Kiffin, the one which ran in the NYT's with this story was from, drum roll please....The Gainesville Sun. Strange indeed.

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