Amidst my Hoosier Hysteria today, I missed posting yesterday's news regarding the University of Tennessee alleged recruiting violations. The above picture is from SI.com showing girls from Orange Pride, the student hosting organization for UT, meeting with UT verbally-committed recruits Corey Miller and Brandon Willis after the pair's football game on Sept. 25th. SI.com's Andy Staples reports:
If the hostesses decided on their own to make the three-and-a-half-hour drive from Knoxville, Tenn., to Duncan on the Friday before the Volunteers faced Ohio, they violated an NCAA rule that prohibits "a representative of a university's athletic interest" from engaging in face-to-face contact with a recruit beyond a simple greeting. If the hostesses were in Duncan under the orders of a Tennessee coach or football staffer, the NCAA could consider the violation to be much more serious.
Meanwhile, Charles Miller (the father of Corey Miller) spoke with the Knoxville News Sentinel, claiming that the girls did no wrong:
The initial conversations between UT hostesses and two highly rated prospects began in Knoxville, Miller said, when his son and Willis visited UT's campus in June.
"They became friends," the elder Miller said.
Perhaps more. Miller said he's not sure if his son is dating one of the unnamed hostesses in question, but said the two have kept in contact.
"I know they talk an awful lot," Miller said. "I don't know if he calls it dating or not. I don't think there's anything wrong."
Miller said he was nearby when his son invited the hostess to Duncan while on UT's campus.
"They asked them, 'Why don't you come watch us play some Friday?' '' Miller said.
As for the visit, Miller maintained the hostesses came as fans, not UT representatives.
The kids these days. Can't tell if they're dating girls that they met 11 days ago on an official school visit. Why do they kids have to make everything so gosh-darn complicated?
The NY Times' Pete Thamel added on Friday the following interview with Keith Easterwood, who is the head coach for the Memphis AAU basketball team YOMCA:
Also on Friday, Keith Easterwood, a veteran summer basketball coach, said that on a visit last year with his son, a football recruit, he had to ask a hostess to stop brushing her breasts against both him and his son.
He recalled saying, “Young lady, if you don’t stop doing that, we’ve got a problem.”
Easterwood said that he took a group of basketball players to a Western Kentucky football game at Tennessee this year, and that the presence of the hostesses had his players “literally reduced to blubbering idiots.”
“I’ve been up there five times, four for football and one basketball visit,” Easterwood said. “My observation is that this is a very organized operation. These girls have obviously been groomed. There’s a lot of eye contact and touching.”
Being touched by hot girls who will be touching some other recruit by next November? Athletes are soooo gullible.
Easterwood also spoke with (former Memphis-based writer) Gary Parrish about how Easterwood's Nike-funded AAU team was not allowed to visit Adidas-funded Univ. of Tennessee. Easterwood posts on Memphis Tigers message boards and was a inside source for a Memphis-based radio show.
Needless to say, Tennessee fans are not happy about Keith's comments.