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Vanderbilt responds to ACC’s tampering allegation, while Danny O’Brien checks out Big Ten options

Danny O'Brien, Getty Images

Where will Danny O’Brien end up?

Danny O'Brien, Getty Images

Penn State is becoming a trendy name for Danny O'Brien's future, but that may no longer be the case. (Getty Images)

Vanderbilt has filed a report with the SEC about the coaching staff’s actions in the recruitment of Maryland-transfer quarterback Danny O’Brien. Maryland had previously requested for the ACC to file a complaint with the SEC, suggesting that the Commodores had tampered with O’Brien while under scholarship at Maryland.

“We did a thorough review,” Vice Chancellor David Williams said in a statement released by the university’s athletic department. “We looked closely at months of phone and e-mail records, and Twitter accounts. We interviewed all of our coaches with University of Maryland backgrounds and we also interviewed the student-athlete.”

The fate of the Vanderbilt program is now in the hands of the SEC offices, which may pass on the findings to the NCAA. After a thorough investigation conducted internally by Vanderbilt, the program is not likely to receive any significant fine or penalty if found guilty of any tampering.

“Our reputation is our primary concern,” Williams said. “We have a long and proud history of playing by the letter and the spirit of the rules. Coach [James] Franklin feels the same way. He and his staff were most cooperative.”

O’Brien was granted a full release from his scholarship at Maryland last month, and Randy Edsall eventually agreed to waive any restrictions on his transfer options. O’Brien was initially granted a scholarship release, as long as he did not choose to go to Vanderbilt, where former Maryland assistant coach James Franklin had become the head coach. O’Brien and Franklin are reported to have a good relationship, which is why many feel that Vanderbilt would be a likely landing spot for the former ACC Rookie of the Year.

However, O’Brien has not made a trip to Nashville to check out the Vanderbilt program since being granted his release from scholarship at Maryland. That may be because of the relationship O’Brien and Franklin have had in the past and the comfort level O’Brien has in one of his former coaches. There may not be an urgent need to check out the program, if O’Brien trusts Franklin. Instead reports have surfaced that O’Brien has been getting in touch with other options, including Wisconsin and Penn State in the Big Ten.

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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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