Tennessee to report another violation
Tennessee plans to self-report another NCAA secondary violation after a high school recruit was mentioned by name Tuesday on Lane Kiffin's Twitter page.
Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said it wasn't actually Kiffin who penned the post in question but an employee in the football office who was updating Kiffin's Twitter page for him.
The post was up for about an hour during the afternoon before being removed by Tennessee officials. It read: "It's a beautiful day in Knoxville, Tennessee today. I was so exited to hear that J.C. Copeland committed to play for the Vols today!"
NCAA rules prohibit coaches and athletic department employees from commenting about unsigned prospects or publicizing them in any way.
Copeland, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound defensive end from LaGrange, Ga., is an ESPNU 150 Watch List member. He chose Tennessee over Auburn, Ole Miss, Maryland, UAB, Central Florida, East Carolina and Southern Miss.
"It was one of Lane's personal assistants, and it was his first day on the job," Hamilton explained. "He posted the message on Lane's Twitter account without asking compliance. It was an inadvertent error, but it's still a violation and one of those things where you've got to know what the deal is. We'll report it."
This is the second time under Kiffin that Tennessee has had to self-report a violation involving an unsigned prospect. In February, Kiffin mentioned running back Bryce Brown by name on a radio talk show in Knoxville and referred to him as a great player.
Tennessee self-reported the violation to the NCAA, but Brown was still allowed to sign with the Vols.
Kiffin has been a lightning rod for controversy ever since his hiring on Dec. 1 and has managed to keep things stirred up with some of his remarks about rival schools.
He was reprimanded by the SEC after erroneously accusing Florida coach Urban Meyer of cheating the day after signing day, and the Vols have had to self-report a handful of secondary violations involving Kiffin and the football program.
Kiffin and his Tennessee assistants were also recently banned from the Pahokee High School campus in Florida by the school principal after Kiffin in February made some demeaning comments about the high school and the community during a speech to Tennessee boosters and fans.
Kiffin has since apologized on a couple different occasions, and Tennessee assistant Eddie Gran was allowed back on Pahokee's campus on Tuesday.
Chris Low is the SEC blogger for ESPN.com. Send your questions and comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.