NCAA coming to N. Gwinnett to talk to Vols’ commitment

North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire confirmed that NCAA investigators will be at his school on Thursday to interview senior offensive lineman JaWuan James and his parents about possible recruiting violations committed by Tennessee and hinted that the inquiry may be focusing on the Vols’ use of social media in recruiting.

James, one of the top tackles in Georgia, committed to the Vols last month.

“[The NCAA has] requested a conference room,” Sphire said Wednesday morning. “They’ll be here tomorrow.”

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the NCAA has launched a “wide-ranging” investigation into the Vols’ recruiting practices. Much of the investigation, Pete Thamel reports, focuses on the use of recruiting hostesses who may have traveled off campus to help lure top recruits back to Knoxville.

“I never saw that,” Sphire said of UT using hostesses. “The first time I heard about that was in the Times story. My understanding is it’s about social media and stuff like that. I couldn’t get on Facebook if you asked me to. Don’t want to. I have no idea what it’s all about.”

James has not returned phone messages seeking comment. Sphire said his player shouldn’t have to.

“People need to know, the NCAA has been in Florida and South Carolina about this thing,” Sphire said. “This is all about Tennessee. It’s not about the kids. They’re not investigating the kids; they’re investigating Tennessee.”

Sphire said he wasn’t aware of anything the Vols may have done against the rules while recruiting James, who chose Tennessee over Georgia. Then again, he asked, how would he know?

“There’s obscure rules about all kinds of stuff,” he said. “How would I know? How would a kid know? I can’t tell you if they’re calling at the right times or contacting them when they’re supposed to. You just have to trust that they’re doing things the right way.”

Tennessee has definitely been pushing the limits. The Vols already have been cited for six secondary rules violations under head coach Lane Kiffin.

Sphire, who coached in Kentucky for many years before coming to Georgia, said college football coaches are always testing the limits.

“Over the years, just about all the colleges are going to push it as far as possible and then the NCAA is going to put in more guidelines to rein them in,” he said. “Us as high school coaches, we don’t have time to fool with that. We just have to trust that they’re doing everything within the guidelines.”

159 comments Add your comment

testing the limits?

December 9th, 2009
10:39 am

you cant even buy the kids a candy bar and take them out to dinner…clue in ..the ncaa is a joke and full of hypocrisy…the love the Tv contracts but could care less if these kids ever make a dime..DO AWAY WITH THE..NCAA

Crimson Crush

December 9th, 2009
10:45 am

ROFLMFAO

This is the SAME kid who decided he didn’t want to work for playing time at Bama and switched to Tutorsee using the excuse that the closed over and done with textbook problem “scared him” .

Wonder what answering questions about Tutorsee recruiting from an actual NCAA investigator on his own doorstep will do to him ? LOL

BEND THE RULES

December 9th, 2009
10:48 am

JuWuan James A word of advice stay away from UT. Do you want to go to a school that is always getting in trouble?I know those hostesses looked great but they are just a tool to get you. So time to reopen your recruiting.

the truth

December 9th, 2009
10:57 am

You are all so very naive… EVERY school does this… just go ask 90% of D-1 players… Bear Bryant started this practice in the 60’s… don’t believe me? then read it….

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1143053/index.htm

BEND THE RULES

December 9th, 2009
11:04 am

the truth
So why is UT being investigated if everyone else is doing it?Face it where there is smoke there is fire.

Mark Richt

December 9th, 2009
11:14 am

Why does it surprise anyone that Lane Kiffin would be pimping college girls in recruiting? This is the guy who signed a kid who involved in the sexual assault of a family member. Anything apparently goes with Kiffin. As he said earlier, his goal is to obtain publicity, no matter what the subject.

I would say that he is succeeding. That is a price we will not pay at UGA.

Crimson Crush

December 9th, 2009
11:14 am

Don’t try to tell us “the truth” . We aren’t the ones questioning half of Tutorsee’s recruiting class .Tell it to the NCAA . Better yet … go to Juwan James house Thursday and help him explain it to the NCAA investigator himself LOL

collegeballfan

December 9th, 2009
11:16 am

“social media”? I guess time has passed me by – what is “social media”?

hop

December 9th, 2009
11:21 am

KIFFIN HAS A VERY BIG MOUTH AND AND SOONER OR LATER IT WILL CATCH UP WITH HIM.
IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME!

Ric Flair

December 9th, 2009
11:25 am

“Woooooooo! You know, Kiffy, it’s like I always say – WOOOOO – don’t let your mouth write checks your body can’t cash, son – WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

Yep

December 9th, 2009
11:27 am

Like he said, this is about TENNESEE, NOT James. People need to quit calling this kid, You should be off limits until you go off to college!!!

The General Feeling

December 9th, 2009
11:28 am

There is nothing to this story. Nothing. The NCAA goes through these machinations in order to look busy and important. It’s only gaining ground because it involves Lane Kiffin who has generated a lot of headlines, first in the ajc.com and now in the New York Times.

Crimson Crush

December 9th, 2009
11:30 am

Ummm … the New York Times broke the story ;-)

Les W. Moore

December 9th, 2009
11:33 am

These NCAA lawyers are doing a “back-door” in order to meet college coeds from Tennessee. These guys, recent law school minimum-wage mommas-boys, could not meet college women on their own so they have manufactured a bogus investigation which will eventually include interviewing the girls.

BEND THE RULES

December 9th, 2009
11:33 am

Amazing Vol fans defending this guy.Are you guys not even a little bit embarrassed.

Mark Richt

December 9th, 2009
11:39 am

Lane Pimpin wanted attention. He is getting it.

I am surprised that Tennessee has all those gorgeous blonds who have a full set of teeth.

bulldawghuff

December 9th, 2009
11:39 am

WHAT IS ALL THE HOOPLA ABOUT, AL DAVES TOLD US THAT THIS GUY WOULD TURN THE SCHOOL UPSIDE DOWN.OH WELL.GO DAWGS .

Crimson Crush

December 9th, 2009
11:43 am

Bend if Vol fans aren’t embarrassed to sing Rocky Top and have supposedly grown men do the “whoooo” like little girls every time the waterboy gives someone a drink of Gatorade … what makes you think they have the ability to feel embarrassed at all ? :-)

Paul

December 9th, 2009
11:46 am

It’s unfortunate that the kids’ are getting dragged into this. Any 17-18 yr old kid would fall for these types of things and not have much of an idea that it was wrong.

I’d be surprised if the recruits that are questioned stick with UT. This has to be frightening for them and it’s too bad we all now know thay are being expected to spill the beans. Hopefully they realize the truth will set them free and they won’t withhold information that will one day come back to affect them personally through ineligibility, etc. Look what happened to the Okey State receiver when he didn’t tell the whole truth…

blood is orange

December 9th, 2009
11:59 am

First, I’m glad that people are busy pointing fingers at UT. Like General Feeling said, the story is only gaining ground because it involves Lane Kiffin. I highly doubt that CLK was involved. Matter of fact, the school is not under “official investigation” because it has not received a letter stating so. Now, UT has accumulated 6 minor violations, woopty! Fulmer had more, and no one is targeting other colleges that have way more violations….GA!!! Also, has anyone noticed the only 2 states that are involved here? S.C. and FL! Oh, AND THE NCAA IS ONLY SPEAKING TO THE HIGHLY RECRUITED PROSPECTS, NOT THE ONES THAT AREN’T BEING HARASSED BY OTHER COLLEGES. I shouldn’t have to spell it for you. Hostesses are used by most colleges, not just UT and you’d be surprised of the recruiting violations that other schools accumulate, yet they are NOT reported. THIS IS BAD MEDIA! Lastly, it is what it is, and I agree that JaWuan should stop getting calls. Leave this guy alone and finish his education in peace. THE NCAA IS A JOKE!!!

Chuck Uga

December 9th, 2009
12:03 pm

Hope Gwinnett Police are there, because you can expect to see a contingent of hotheaded UT fans hanging around outside the school in attempts to intimidate the NCAA investigators. Juwuan James will NOT be eligible to attend UT…you can mark that down.

LMAO, Phil Fulmer is enjoying every bit of this story. Hey General Neyland and others…you get what you “pay” for. Looking forward to the beatdown coming your way in Athens next October. If there is one school UGA coaches, fans and administrators have circled, it’s the UT game. For the first time in his career, Mark Richt will purposely run up the score! Maybe another 44-0 like 1981. What a pleasant memory!

Chuck Uga

December 9th, 2009
12:04 pm

P.S. to you Vollies…you DON’T send your campus hotties on the road! Yes, everyone uses them, but they don’t LEAVE CAMPUS to visit recruits!! LMAO…

Linda Bensel-Meyers

December 9th, 2009
12:08 pm

McDawg

December 9th, 2009
12:09 pm

Bear Bryant invented Facebook a well know fact

thalockerroom.com

December 9th, 2009
12:10 pm

Gain exposure and help yoursellf get recruited create your profile at http://www.thalockerroom.com

Steve

December 9th, 2009
12:15 pm

Hey Truth, the problem isn’t that they have “hostesses”. The problem is that they sent them off campus for recruiting purposes. Of course every school has pretty girls to hang out with the recruits on their official visits ON CAMPUS. They don’t send them 200 miles away to a high school football game with signs to wave.

Rocky Slop

December 9th, 2009
12:16 pm

Bye Bye Laney..It’s just a matter of time. Do you think the Tennessee AD, President, et al have begun the search for a new headcoach yet?

Crimson Crush

December 9th, 2009
12:23 pm

. Having consulted the finest legal mind Tennessee it looks like the Vol fans are going to dust off the classic “sleeping with my sister” defense … “Hey … everybody does it … it is no big deal ” LOL

Bcmp123

December 9th, 2009
12:24 pm

When the dust settles we will see what comes of it. Sounds like a bunch of jealous and ignorant fans to me. If you are going to make a comment, at least wait until everything comes to light, THEN state your case. MOST of you are going to look like the dumb asses you are in the end…”mark it down.” And UGA? Now THAT’s a team that sucks…and the results are in on that one this year…saying that the downward spiral will continue is an assumption, but it’s a pretty good one. LMAO…

Donnie Dawg

December 9th, 2009
12:25 pm

Crimson Crush, you are pissed that he ain’t going the to Criminal Tide! I don’t want him to go to UT, but you are an idiot and a disgrace to UAT!!!

blood is orange

December 9th, 2009
12:26 pm

Yes, I understand that it’s not the use of hostesses on campus, however; apparently the girls met the guy at football camp, I believe, so they had established a prior relationship before his “official” and “unofficial” visit. Now about the sign “come to tennessee,” that could be none other than an assistant of Bob Corker holding a sign stating come to Tennessee.” It doesn’t state, “come to UT” I’ll state this again too, it’s not an official investigation until the school receives a letter, which they have not. BTW, I live in FL and have no ties to UT, so I’m not being biased.

Barry Jay

December 9th, 2009
12:27 pm

Blood is Orange:

Lane Kiffin is a disaster waiting to happen.
His techniques are extremely risky.
If they blow up…they will set the program back to the stone age.
Kiffy reminds me of Jim Mora in the NFL.
He tries to be hip but his teams end up falling apart.
If Kiffin wants to project an “edgy” persona, he will most likely make the program unstable.

Cheating is a Tennessee tradition

December 9th, 2009
12:30 pm

Cheating at the U. of Tennessee started long before Lame Kiffin arrived to add his latest tricks. The Vols have been at this game for a long time.

T. Martin

December 9th, 2009
12:31 pm

Just like I said on national TV, I was paid very well in cash to play football for the Tennessee Volunteers!

blood is orange

December 9th, 2009
12:39 pm

Barry Jay: first off, thanks for keeping it clean here. I am a fan, not going to say for whom, but I write stories for columns sometimes, so I conduct research. I’m enlightened by the idea that AD Hamilton has had knowledge of these accusations for some time and yet the coaches have been out recruiting since, so obviously someone is pointing fingers here……you know the saying, the more you stir sh*t up, the more it stinks.

Yes, Kiffin has been getting a lot of attention here lately, but reasons for his attention should only be relevant for about 50% of what he’s actually done. I don’t agree with disputing with other coaches and maybe Kiffin was wrong for calling Meyer out like that, but Kiffin was very new to the NCAA rules (which are quite lengthy) and was aggravated that Meyer wanted Nu’keese so bad that he called the recruit while being on an “official” visit, while he was attending the TN vs. UF bball game while it was in session. Meyer knew Nuke was there and wanted him badly, given he was the top recruit. Kiffin thought that it was against the NCAA recruiting rules by stating that it was against the rules to call a recruit from another campus while he was on another campus. I call this very tacky and unprofessional. In some ways, I don’t blame Kiffin for calling him out, however, the media wants to say that Kiffin started it.

dave capaz

December 9th, 2009
12:41 pm

Does anyone else think it’s hilarious that a Bama fan would be on here accusing a fan of ANY other school of cheating?? Really?

This all sounds like a witch hunt to me. Apparently Kiffin pissed some “influential” people off by running his mouth. Now that he and his staff have proven that they CAN coach and recruit with the best (right Bama boy? You ought to thank God UT didn’t have a kicker this year) time to take it to the next level because change is a comin’and they are looking for a little payback with a preemtive media strike right before signing day. Well done. Touche.

VolinSuwanee

December 9th, 2009
12:41 pm

i love all the “quick to judge” mouths on here. Makes for some funny reading. Give it time and lets see where it goes.

Please Be True

December 9th, 2009
12:48 pm

Please make this be true. The guy’s been there a year, and he took a team that played eleven walk-ons (four starters) and won an SEC game. He destroyed a pretender to the SEC title 45-19 and their team couldn’t make it past the Vols’ 35. He had beaten the possible NC on their home field were it not for an injured kicker. He assembled the best staff of recruiters in the country for his first staff…a staff so good that they’re being courted by head coaches as much as a HS prospect.
He uses smoke machines, fake press conferences, billboards, helicopters, and pretty girls to turn the heads of HS recruits. Good heavens, next you’ll be telling me that he has plenty of playing time to offer, top-notch facilites, the largest stadium in the SEC, and a staff where almost every coach has NFL experience. The man is obviously a menace.
Props to the North Gwinnett coach for living in the real world.

Charles

December 9th, 2009
12:55 pm

JuWaun – players committing armed robbery; coaches fleeing daily; NCAA investigations…you sure you really want to go play for that mentally unstable clown, Kiffin? Because if that’s your choice, you’re making your own bed. I know you have that woman around North Gwinnett as your mentor and probably don’t want to let a big Vol fan down, but you need to think about your future.

bulldawghuff

December 9th, 2009
12:56 pm

blood is orange…the girks are not to conyact the kids off campus and you know that.my friend you are the one pointing fingers ,your getting a case of the probation hives and its a ugly feeling.it has to be real hard knowing that tha recruits are going to be running for cover and away from kiff,as is some of his asst coaches .i hear that some of them are headed for other jobs they kno the roof is about to cave in.so to ja. james and the other kids that the vols have been after,the truth is the best way to go if you dont believe me ask dez briant from ok state he lost his senior year cause he lied to the ncaa.

dawgster

December 9th, 2009
12:56 pm

Well I have been saying this from the beginning that “it was just a matter of time”, that being Kiffin would land the Vols on probation…For all you Vol fans, ;hope you are pleased with your Coach, yes maybe it was time for Coach Fulmer to retire, but i will say that he was all class and also a very good Coach, i don’t recall the embarrassement with him that Kiffin has brought to your university..Are you willing to pay that price for a few good recruits and some victories, you may come out cleared on this but “it is just a matter of time”….

VolinSuwanee

December 9th, 2009
12:58 pm

So i attended ALL the North Gwinnett games and when cold wore my Vols coat and UT hat. Even had my picture taken with Coach Orgeron when he and Kiffin flew in. Wait, i need to go, the NCAA just called and ask if I could come to the HS to question me. This is a witch hunt over nothing. I’ll let you know how my visit goes.

blood is orange

December 9th, 2009
1:00 pm

Oh really, why then does Georgia have 20 secondary violations to Tennessee having only 6 yet Tennessee is in the NYT and Deadspin? When is the last time it was a big news story about Georgia’s recruiting violations yet they have over 3 times as many violations as Tennessee but the Vols have the image of breaking all the rules.

Looks like it does get ignored at other places, tell me how is that fair, now do you know why people are pissed around here?

TannerTider

December 9th, 2009
1:01 pm

Al Davis was right afterall.

KingGator

December 9th, 2009
1:07 pm

Take note of investigation into Tenn. and Kiffin. Kiffin will be gone within 2 yrs. from Tenn. If the shoe fits wear it, and he will not change, so expect more of the same from him, and a boot out the door within 2 yrs. That is unless Tenn. administrators are clueless. I am speaking from experience, and seeing the same stuff occur at UF back in the ’80’s when a guy by then name of Charley Pell was on staff.

Now with regards to Bama. Saban is good, but the guy has been there 3 yrs and 2 of those 3 he goes undefeated. His first, he lost to LA-MONROE!! Now, I may be a bit slow on the take, but I smell a rat. How can you go from losing to LA-MONROE to 2 seasons of being undefeated? Is the NCAA going to stop by Bama’s door next? Time will tell, but the state just doesn’t have the population, $$ and players to support a program like Bama anymore. I expect Bama’s assistants will start being hired away, and then the program to start a downward slide, with the investigators stopping by to continue what was going on when Dubose, etc. were around. Sorry, but recent history is not on Bama’s side with respect to these type issues.

KG

bulldawghuff

December 9th, 2009
1:15 pm

please be true what in the hell does uga have to do with yall being in hot water,nothing not a thing.you should worry about what is really going on at your school because it is a real problem and regradless of what you may be thinking ,IT AINT UGA’s problem .so go ahead and blame us if that helps you deal with it better,but you have real issues and the worst thing we have to deal with is finding a new defensive co.

blood is orange

December 9th, 2009
1:16 pm

Coaches come and go, we all know that!

dawgster

December 9th, 2009
1:24 pm

Just a matter of time Vols…Kiffin is your man…

Barry Jay

December 9th, 2009
1:31 pm

Blood:

You have to admit–Kiffin tries to generate buzz. For example, the reported comment that UT would not lose again to UGA. Billboards, controversial statements, and an “in your face” approach to recruiting has kept him in the public eye and on the radar for the NCAA.

This is not about a lack of knowledge of the rules. It is about putting UT on the map. The problem will come when his brash promises fail to come true. It will come when the program loses scholarships and when other teams develop such a hatred for UT that it is not only their goal to beat them but to destroy them. Kiffin really should chill. It is a bold gamble and, I think, a misguided one.

blood is orange

December 9th, 2009
1:34 pm

Really? We are defending that we have 6 minor violations, while other schools have much more, UGA with 20, yet we are being targeted all the time. That’s the point here “Dawgster.” Put yourself in our shoes being that you’re a dedicated fan. I admit I got respect for all teams and I respect everyone’s need to defend their school, but you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. You have to admit that some things that are speculated are completely blown out of proportion here?