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Podcast Episode 042 – Trouble in Knoxville

Andrew Gribble of The Knoxville News Sentinel joins the podcast

On Wednesday Tennessee released the full notice of allegations handed to them by the governing body of the NCAA against the men’s basketball and football programs. At first glance it appears that Bruce Pearl and the basketball program are in the hottest water in Knoxville, and Lane Kiffin will once again play the role of scapegoat within the football program. Because the issues linked to the football program took place under the former head coach and his staff the Volunteers may be better off than initially expected, at least for football.

Lane Kiffin's brief Tennessee stint was not flattering. Getty Images.

Tennessee will plead for forgiveness at an NCAA hearing in Indianapolis in June and will be putting together their case for a lighter punishment between now and then. So what does this mean for the football, and basketball program? Kiffin is already long gone and Derek Dooley is doing everything he can to turn the page in the Volunteer football program. What will be his role in this latest situation and how will he keep the team focused on and off the field? How long does Pearl’s job remain his on the basketball court?

On today’s podcast I am joined by Andrew Gribble, football and recruiting reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel and GoVolsXtra.com. Gribble has been covering this situation for a while now and was not too surprised by the findings released by the university. If anything Gribble seemed to be surprised at how light the allegations were. The Tennessee baseball program was once thought to be linked to the investigation but it was left out of the notice of allegations, which was great news for Tennessee. The findings in regards to football though seemed to enough to exhale a sigh of relief for Vols fans as most of the problems were linked to Kiffin and his coaching staff while in Knoxville. The school seemed to have covered their bases as far as the football program was concerned so the NCAA will be more likely to crack a whip on the former Vols coach and give the football program a slap on the wrist at most.

Now we wait and see how the NCAA will serve a punishment to the entire athletic program and how it will affect the football program. I think Bruce Pearl’s days are numbered at this point though from a basketball standpoint, but Derek Dooley and the rest of the football program should be able to keep their heads well above water in the post-Kiffin era.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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