The mere possibility of an NCAA investigation once terrified school administrators, coaches, and fans.
The outcome often wasn’t as dire as the prolonged uncertainty. It was the college sports equivalent of water torture.
Drip, drip, drip. The wait would go on for months and years. By the time the black cloud lifted – and the NCAA penalty was announced − you easily might have forgotten why a program was investigated in the first place.
Negative recruiting was a concern, too. In a conference as competitive as the SEC, one program’s troubles could become a staple in every other conference school’s recruiting pitch. The pitch might be subtle, but it still could raise a doubt in the minds of a recruit and his family.
But in our current version of college football does an NCAA investigation really matter?
Tennessee’s football program is again in the NCAA cross hairs due to alleged violations of the NCAA’s shaky rule on a student-athlete’s right to capitalize monetarily on his name, image, and likeness.
Let’s back up to the NCAA’s last investigation of the UT football program. The investigation lasted for years, not months. And, thanks to Tennessee going the extra mile in cooperating and imposing its own penalties, ended with relatively mild punishment.
And how did the drawn-out process affect Tennessee football?
New coach Josh Heupel won seven games in his first season, improving drastically on the 3-7 record in 2020, the last year of UT’s most infamous recruiter, Jeremy Pruitt. A year later, Heupel led the Vols to 11 wins and a top-10 finish. They were even ranked No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff poll that season.
Some details of that season were downright glorious. The Vols beat two of their biggest rivals, Alabama, and Florida. They also led the nation in scoring and proved to be one of the most…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/why-ncaa-investigation-tennessee-football-100803662.html
Author : Knox News | The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Publish date : 2024-02-13 10:08:03
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.