January 24th, 2011 11:52 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Tennessee
Tags: NCAA, Renaldo Woolridge, Tom Izzo, UT
When he’s not playing hoops or shaving designs into his hair — that photo is from The Knoxville News Sentinel — Tennessee basketballer Renaldo Woolridge is dropping tracks as a wannabe rap star. Unfortunately, his latest video might drop him in a bit of NCAA trouble.
Eight hours after Tennessee lost to UConn on Saturday, Woolridge was given exclusive access to the upstairs floor of a Knoxville bar. A source at the bar told The Sentinel that Woolridge was given use of the room for free. And that could be considered an extra benefit by NCAA investigators.
Woolridge has played a total of 72 minutes in eight of UT’s 19 games this season.
Normally this type of thing would be a small issue. But the NCAA is still investigating the University of Tennessee program for a number of issues. A letter of allegations was expected in December, but now it looks like that letter won’t arrive in Knoxville until February at the earliest. Woolridge’s secondary violation — if it turns out to be a violation — might now be added to the NCAA’s list of grievances (which will be aired on Festivus as tradition dictates).
Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton has repeatedly said that NCAA investigations into the Vols’ football and baseball programs turned up only secondary violations. But in recent weeks, the NCAA has also learned that a number of Vol football players received free admission to another Knoxville bar as VIPs this summer. Now the NCAA will hear of the Woolridge incident. All this on top of the more serious violations committed by Bruce Pearl and his staff. And the secondary violations already uncovered regarding football and baseball.
Now it’s possible the NCAA will still view the baseball, football and basketball issues as being separate. And it’s possible that the NCAA will come down softly on the Vols for any “secondary” violations they find.
The NCAA appears to be getting more serious about secondary violations these days. Tom Izzo was suspended for a game this season due to a secondary violation. Houston Nutt was warned that he might be suspended as well… for a secondary violation. Nutt said last week that the NCAA is trying to prevent coaches from routinely, intentionally violating secondary rules.
The worst outcome for Tennessee, of course, would be getting hit with the dreaded “lack of institutional control” charge. While Hamilton doesn’t seem to think that’s a possibility, new violations — secondary or otherwise — certainly won’t help UT’s case.
Enjoy a previous Swiperboy track as you exit:
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