The University of Tennessee faced a seven-person NCAA Committee on Infractions panel over failure to monitor the football program, with the university seeking leniency for its cooperation in the investigation into 18 highest-level violations, which came from former coach Jeremy Pruitt, his assistant coaches, and staff members. UT needs to avoid a postseason ban, which is among the penalties that have been de-emphasized by the NCAA’s new approach to enforcement, which follows the recommendations by the NCAA transformational committee Sankey co-chaired. The move also follows UT’s self-imposed scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions and reflects its belief that penalties should fit the nature of violations, did not occur among current players, and should not penalize them for violations committed by past athletes during the period of 2018 to early 2021. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey made his presence known during the hearing, backing Tennessee’s case for leniency as an example of the NCAA’s new enforcement approach.
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