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Tennessee Chancellor, Collective Blame NCAA In NIL Investigation: ‘In Short, The NCAA Is Failing’

A Tennessee logo at midfield in Neyland Stadium.
A Tennessee logo at midfield in Neyland Stadium.

The Tennesse Volunteers could be in hot water following a reported NCAA investigation into their NIL practices. The review centers around impermissible benefits for players across multiple sports, including its football program and the recruitment of a five-star passer.

It could also result in penalty according to Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde.

“The school is back in the NCAA’s crosshairs, a recurrence that could have significant consequences.”

News broke early Tuesday of the investigation, with next season’s expected starting QB Nico Iamaleava being a focal point. Mentioned in the reports was the use of a private jet fly the signa caller onto campus.

On top of the private, and potentially prohibited campus visit, Iamaleava is rumored to have signed an $8 million NIL deal just weeks before signing with the Vols.

As smoke surrounds the Tennessee athletic department, not much detail has come out on the situation. Other sports or players linked are unknown, with Iamaleava’s name being the only one stated.

The university has now responded to the investigation.

School Chancellor, NIL Collective blame the NCAA

Tennessee has been in sticky situations before with its governing body, most recently for recruiting violations under head coach Jeremy Pruitt. In that case, however, they cooperated fully with the NCAA.

The university seems to be taking a different approach this time around.

Chancellor Donde Plowman sent a letter to president Charlie Baker after the news broke, blaming the NCAA for its lack of clarity in NIL guidelines.

“Intercollegiate athletics owe it to student-athletes and their families to have clear rule and act in their best interest,” Plowman wrote. “Instead, two and a half years of vague and contradictory NCAA memos, emails and ‘guidance’ about NIL have created extraordinary chaos.”

She’d go on to say, “Institutions are struggling to navigate. In short, the NCAA is failing.”

A feeling that many around college sports can agree with.

NIL was initially introduced as a way to support student-athletes throughout their careers. This meant giving players a piece of the massive pie that is college sports through various media appearances and community partnerships.

Instead, the NCAA opened Pandora’s Box without implementing guardrails. Essentially, it’s become an open market with prospects signing with the highest bidder.

Total free agency without limits!

With no direction given on how to correctly use NIL, boosters and collectives have run wild while playing within what they believed to be the rules of game.

Spyre Sports attorney Tom Mars, who worked closely with Tennessee’s NIL Collective in Iamaleava’s recruitment, issued as similar statement.

Mars, too, denies wrongdoing in his NIL dealing with Nico Iamaleava. He claims that his collective operated fully within the rights set forth by the State of California from which the quarterback hails.

“In short, the agreement was fully consistent with then existing NCAA NIL ‘guidelines’ and had nothing to do with recruiting Nico to the University of Tennessee.”

Tennessee isn’t the only school dealing with these recent NIL reviews. Florida and Florida State have recently been targeted, too.

And this could be just the tip of the iceberg.

The post Tennessee Chancellor, Collective Blame NCAA In NIL Investigation: ‘In Short, The NCAA Is Failing’ appeared first on BroBible.


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