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Report says USC football Coach Lane Kiffin won't be penalized by NCAA

The Knoxville News Sentinel says that the violations levied against the Tennessee program during Kiffin's one season are considered secondary.

August 23, 2011|By Gary Klein
  • USC Coach Lane Kiffin reportedly will not be penalized by the NCAA for violations that allegedly occurred during his coaching stint at Tennessee.
USC Coach Lane Kiffin reportedly will not be penalized by the NCAA for violations… (Christina House / For The…)

USC football coach Lane Kiffin will not be penalized by the NCAA for violations allegedly committed during his 14-month stint at Tennessee, according to a published report.

Kiffin, facing possible sanctions, appeared before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in June as part of a broader hearing into Tennessee's athletic department.

The NCAA is expected to announce its ruling in the case Wednesday.

Citing "multiple sources," the Knoxville News Sentinel reported Tuesday on its website that, "The two major violations levied against the football program were found to be secondary violations and no further penalties were levied against the UT program, former coach Lane Kiffin or former assistant David Reaves."

Kiffin, whose Trojans practiced Tuesday morning, could not be reached for comment after the News Sentinel posted its report in the afternoon. USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said he had not been notified by the NCAA of a pending release of its report.

The NCAA had alleged that Tennessee football staff members made 16 impermissible phone calls to recruits from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9, 2010 — calls that were made a month after the staff was informed they were impermissible.

Kiffin also was accused of allowing a recruiting intern to make impermissible off-campus contact with high school staff members after Tennessee's director of football operations told him that the intern was not permitted to enter a high school's property while accompanying a coach on a recruiting trip.

If Kiffin were penalized, the punishments could include limits on his recruiting at USC and, possibly, suspension from games.

Scroggins returns

Quarterback Jesse Scroggins attended practice for the first time since last week, when he was removed from the 105-player training camp roster after surgery on his right hand.

Scroggins, outfitted with a new cast, was not in uniform. He can attend practices and meetings because rosters are expanded once classes start.

"To me it made sense," he said of his removal from the roster. "They needed to bring in an extra [defensive back] so I was like, 'OK, I understand.' Coach Kiffin told me, 'Stay in the film room, do what you can do and I'll see you next week.' "

Scroggins, a redshirt freshman, said he was injured when defensive lineman George Uko, his roommate, inadvertently hit his throwing hand during the Trojans' second scrimmage.

"I told him, 'Thanks. Thanks a lot,' " Scroggins said, laughing. "We're good friends."

Quick hits

Receiver Markeith Ambles, who was ruled academically ineligible, is no longer with the football program and has withdrawn from school, Kiffin said. … Freshman tight end Junior Pomee will sit out the season because of a broken foot suffered in a Sunday scrimmage, Kiffin said.

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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