NCAA officials apparently want Bryce Brown to sit out one game. Tennessee officials apparently think that's one game too many.
Brown reportedly was among 10 Wichita-area high school football players who traveled by van to several college campuses three years ago on money raised by Brian Butler. A source close to the situation says Butler raised approximately $2,000 via cookouts, etc., to cover transportation costs of the college tour, which included stops at Southern Cal, Arizona State
and several Southern universities.
Seven of the 10 prospects who took the tour wound up signing Div. 1 scholarships, including Bryce Brown (Tennessee) and his brother Arthur (Miami).
After investigating Bryce Brown's involvement in the college tour for the past six months, the NCAA notified Tennessee on Wednesday of its initial ruling. According to the source, the NCAA wants Brown to repay any benefits he may have gotten during the college tour (his share of the travel costs perhaps) and sit out one game this season.
Tennessee has appealed the initial ruling, without publicly acknowledging what that ruling was. The NCAA is expected to rule on the appeal in the next week or so.
The Vols open the 2009 season Sept. 5 against Western Kentucky. Whether Bryce Brown is suited up for that game remains to be seen.