The Tennessee Vols have finally wrapped up their investigation into NCAA recruiting violations according to a report on Thursday from VolQuest.
As a result of the investigation, Tennessee has decided to NOT self-impose a post-season ban.
That means if the Vols win two of their final four games this season, the Vols will play in a bowl game.
This is absolutely the right move by Tennessee — regardless of what the investigation found.
UT got rid of everyone associated with the violations that occurred under previous head coach Jeremy Pruitt. And the players believed to be involved in the recruiting scandal have transferred to other programs.
Why punish the players and coaches at Tennessee that had absolutely nothing to do with the violations?
These post-season bans that impact folks that had nothing to do with violations have never made any sense. But then again, not much about the NCAA makes sense.
It’s important to note that while Tennessee isn’t self-imposing a bowl ban, the NCAA could still serve a notice of allegations and come down hard on UT. That could take up to five years to actually happen.
According to VolQuest, the Vols will self-impose other penalties — likely a reduction in scholarships, recruiting restrictions, etc.
Tennessee isn’t out of the woods yet. The NCAA could still decide to cripple UT’s football program.
But for now, at least Vols head coach Josh Heupel can tell recruits they’ll be playing in bowl games at Tennessee — until the NCAA says otherwise.
The hope for the Vols is that the changing landscape of college athletics — specifically the new name, image, and likeness rules that essentially allow players to be paid — will cause the NCAA to handle these cases in a much different way. Perhaps Tennessee will be the first program that gets off with a slap on the wrist in this new era of college sports.
It’s all speculation right now. All we know for sure is that if Tennessee wins two more games, they’ll be bowling in Heupel’s first season at the helm.
Featured image via Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK