Tennessee football and basketball new violations show how ridiculous some NCAA rules are

Fans wait for the Vol Walk before a football game against Ole Miss at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.Kns Tennessee Ole Miss Football Bp
Fans wait for the Vol Walk before a football game against Ole Miss at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.Kns Tennessee Ole Miss Football Bp /

Despite concluding their own internal investigation into the serious violations committed under Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee football is not out of the woods with the NCAA just yet on that front. However, as they were dealing with that investigation, they and Tennessee basketball committed other violations that makes no sense.

During the 2021 game against the Ole Miss Rebels, due to an unexpected cluster of fans packing certain areas, UT recruits visiting took part in a preview of the Vol Walk rather than. That was a Level III violation, according to a report from Adam Sparks of the Knoxville News Sentinel.

It’s not going to have any negative impact on Tennessee football, as the infraction was incredibly minor, but how in the world is this a violation? Who cares if they took part in the Vol Walk itself? Isn’t recruiting about showcasing some of your off-the-field activities to entice players to come?

Does the NCAA honestly believe that having recruits actually take part in the Vol Walk in any way will give UT an unfair advantage? They still know it exists, and if it can be a selling point on that front, it should be a selling point on any front.

Now, the men’s basketball program may have had a bit more serious violation since it was technically a photo shoot, but the nature of the shoot is what caused the violation. According to Sparks, a recruit was able to wear a UT uniform and walk onto the Thompson-Boling Arena court for the shoot.

All of that would have been fine, but Sparks reports that during the shoot, the recruit dribbled the basketball at one point, which is a violation of showing off his abilities in a certain setting. In general, limiting that makes sense, as no program should get an unfair advantage when evaluating talent. However, who’s going to read anything from that?

Seriously, is Rick Barnes going to change his evaluation of a recruit based on the way he dribbles a ball during a photo shoot? To make matters more ridiculous, there were no coaches on the court with the recruit when this photo shoot happened. Again, how is this a violation?

For years, the Vols have avoided probation, and thanks to the new rules that may save Tennessee football from what it did under Pruitt, they may never see it. We wrote last week about how that was the ultimate finesse, even if it was done inadvertently.

However, Rocky Top has played with fire numerous times. The most serious example was hiring Donnie Tyndall after he was connected to numerous serious violations with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Dave Hart immediately fired Tyndall after just one year and then hired Barnes, though, to avoid any fallout from the NCAA.

Before Tyndall, though, the opposite happened. Bruce Pearl lied to the NCAA about a violation that isn’t even a violation anymore after hosting recruits for a barbecue. That resulted in a three-year show-cause, forcing the Vols to fire him, and now they have to watch him take the Auburn Tigers to their first No. 1 ranking three years after taking them to the Final Four.

That was the most insane of the lesser violations. Lane Kiffin, however, committed numerous secondary violations that sabotaged Derek Dooley as he tried to recruit for Tennessee football as well. Some were legitimate, but having to sit in front of an infractions committee in 2011 did extra damage and never should have happened.

It’s worth noting that, according to Sparks, another violation was also committed when voluntary workouts by athletes were published on social media. There may be a deeper reason for that one, so without more information, it’s hard to criticize that one.

Next. Ranking every win of Vols' 2021 season. dark

However, the Vol Walk against Ole Miss and the photo shoot at Thompson-Boling Arena should not be violations for Tennessee football and Tennessee basketball. Even if there won’t be any penalties, having to just report these things are absolutely ridiculous.