Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tennessee Receives Longer Probation

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tennessee Receives Longer Probation

Article excerpt

The NCAA has extended Tennessee's probation by two years as part of additional penalties handed down Friday after the ruling that former football assistant coach Willie Mack Garza provided impermissible travel and lodging to a former prospect.

Penalties include a public reprimand and censure plus a reduction in official visits, evaluation days and complimentary tickets to recruits on unofficial visits. This extends a probationary period that started in August 2011 and now runs through Aug. 23, 2015.

Garza, who worked at Tennessee on former coach Lane Kiffin's staff, received a three-year show-cause order. The show-cause penalty means that any school that hires him must prove to the NCAA that it is rules compliant.

Garza resigned as Southern California's secondary coach two days before the Trojans started their '11 season.

The NCAA ruled Garza reimbursed talent scout Will Lyles for plane tickets and hotel expenses associated with an unofficial visit made by Lache Seastrunk and his mother in the summer of '09. The visit occurred outside the permissible time period for prospects to make expense-paid visits. The NCAA classified Lyles as a booster because he arranged the trip.

Seastrunk, a running back, eventually signed with Oregon and now plays for Baylor.

"We will finally close the chapter on the prior actions of members of a previous coaching staff," Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement released by the university.

"We have significantly strengthened our culture of compliance at Tennessee and we continue to do so. We disagree with additional penalties for a matter we believed should have been part of the previous case. We will now move forward."

The penalties reduce the number of official visits Tennessee's football staff can have for the 2012-13 academic year from 51 to 47. The school also can't provide complimentary tickets to recruits who make unofficial visits for Tennessee's first two conference games in the '13 season. …

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