Report: Tennessee appeals ruling

Updated: August 19, 2009, 9:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tennessee has received the NCAA's initial ruling on freshman running back Bryce Brown's eligibility and is reportedly appealing without revealing the issues it disputes.

"That's not a final decision by any measure," athletic director Mike Hamilton said on Wednesday, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the crux of the NCAA's investigation revolves around Brown's relationship with Brian Butler, who was Brown's adviser/handler during his recruitment. Brown was one of several prospects that Butler mentored.

In particular, the NCAA is looking into some of the fundraising Brown accepted in high school to visit college campuses and what role Butler might have played.

"The NCAA continues to investigate [Brown] and his whole history going back to when he was young, and I know that bothers him," Tennesse coach Lane Kiffin said on Tuesday. "It's pretty unfortunate."

Brown could be required to repay contributions and serve a suspension.

The school would not confirm what the NCAA had been investigating but did say that the probe had concluded.

"Everything has been determined," Tennessee associate athletic director of compliance Brad Bertani said, according to the News-Sentinel. "Now we're just focusing on getting him eligible. There is no investigation ongoing right now.

"There's nobody [NCAA investigators] on campus. ... There never has been anybody on campus regarding this issue."

ESPN.com's Chris Low and ESPN's Joe Schad contributed to this report.

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