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August 19, 2009

Brown playing the waiting game

A frustrated Lane Kiffin spoke on Tuesday of the tiring waiting game from the NCAA regarding the amateur status of running back Bryce Brown. And for the Vols and Brown, that waiting game continues.

Tennessee and Brown have been dealing with this investigation since back in the spring, and according to Athletics Director Mike Hamilton the NCAA gave Tennessee an initial direction a couple of weeks ago that college athletics' governing body was going with its ruling. Since that time, Tennessee and Brown have been providing more facts and more information in an effort to get a final ruling in Brown's favor.

In other words, Tennessee didn't get any bad news on Wednesday; in fact they got no new news.

"A couple of weeks ago the NCAA gave us an initial ruling of where the final verdict was likely going to land and we have the opportunity to present them more facts and precedents in response to the preliminary report," said Hamilton. "By no means is anything final at this point."

Nor is Tennessee under any sort of investigation.

The initial interpretation was specific in the punishment for what the NCAA feels was a violation of Brown's amateur status from his high school days in Wichita, Kansas. Tennessee is trying to get a more favorable interpretation for the final ruling.

It's most likely that Brown would have to make some financial restitution for what is thought to be extra benefits as a part of his relationship with trainer and mentor Brian Butler.

The question is obviously how much, although the feeling is that it would not be an extraordinary amount and then the real issue is will Brown be suspended for game action. As of now, that certainly remains a real possibility.

"Our hope is that he would not have any kind of suspension, but that is something that we don't know at this point and won't till a final verdict is given," Hamilton said.

Hamilton expects a final verdict to be given in the next couple of weeks and so for Bryce Brown the waiting game continues from an inquiry that started back in the spring.


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