Tennessee defensive tackle Maurice Couch has been declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA after being found to have received improper benefits from an agent.
Couch was one of the players named in a September report by Yahoo’s Rand Getlin and Charles Robinson that showed five SEC football players receiving extra benefits prior to the completion of their collegiate careers.
Couch, a redshirt senior, received four payments totaling $1,350 according to the report. He came into the 2013 campaign as a starter for the Volunteers
Couch, who last played on September 7 against Western Kentucky, was suspended by Tennessee on September 12. The University said it would appeal the decision. He played in 26 career games as a Vol, accumulating 79 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.
In light of the decision, Couch took to Twitter Friday to express gratitude to Tennessee fans.
At the end of the day, what's most important is I have my family, my degree, and love n support from the Volnation!# salute
— maurice couch (@MoTrilla44) November 1, 2013
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H/T USA Today