Tee case nears a conclusion

The seemingly endless investigation into charges that former UT quarterback Tee Martin accepted ''extra benefits'' while playing for the Vols may be nearing its conclusion. Athletics director Doug Dickey told The Knoxville News-Sentinel on Wednesday that the university is wrapping up its investigation into allegations that Martin received money from former Mobile (Ala.) Register sports writer Wayne D. Rowe in February of 1999.

We're continuing to work with the Southeastern Conference and wrapping up some discussions with them,'' Dickey told the News-Sentinel. We have not yet concluded our investigation of the situation.

I hope we could have it done by the first of September.''

That would coincide with the opening of football season. The Vols debut Aug. 31 against Wyoming at Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville.

Rowe asserts that he received checks from Mobile insurance executive and UT fan Dianne Sanford, along with directions that the money should be wired to Martin. Martin repeatedly has denied accepting financial assistance from Rowe or Sanford.

The Mobile Register has copies of two checks Sanford wrote to Rowe totaling $4,500. However, no documents signed by Martin indicating receipt of Western Union transfers from Rowe have ever been produced.

Sanford says the checks she wrote to Rowe were to help with his house payments. This seems to be supported by court records which reportedly show Rowe took out a $4,500 loan in September of 1997, then defaulted on it in September of '99.

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