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College football roundup: NCAA hits Tennessee with more penalties

The SportsXchange

The NCAA announced additional penalties against the Tennessee football program Friday.

The violations occurred in 2009 when former assistant Willie Mack Garza, a member of former coach Lane Kiffin's staff at the time, illegally funded a prospect's unofficial visit and misled NCAA enforcement officials during questioning.

The penalties include Tennessee's probation being extended by two years, a reduction in the number of official visits this school year from 51 to 47, fewer evaluation days for the coaches and a ban on providing free tickets to recruits for the first two Southeastern Conference games next season.

Tennessee officials met with NCAA Committee on Infractions on Tuesday.

"We will finally close the chapter on the prior actions of members of a previous football coaching staff," Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a news release. "We have significantly strengthened our culture of compliance at Tennessee and will continue to do so. We disagree with additional penalties for a matter we believed should have been part of the previous case. We will now move forward."

The Vols (4-6, 0-6) are winless in the SEC going into Saturday's game at Vanderbilt. There is speculation that coach Derek Dooley's job could be in jeopardy at the end of the season.

--Sean Mannion will start at quarterback for Oregon State on Saturday against Cal, replacing injured Cody Vaz.

Vaz went down in last Saturday's Pac-12 loss against Stanford with an ankle injury. Coach Mike Riley said Vaz is expected to be in uniform Saturday but gave no indication whether he would be able to play.

Mannion suffered a knee injury after starting the Beavers' first four games this season. He returned after sitting out two games but threw four interceptions against Washington and was benched in favor of Vaz, who has started four of the past five games.

---Missouri has suspended defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson for Saturday's non-conference game against Syracuse.

The suspension appears to be academic related, according to a report. School officials would not comment.

Richardson, a junior, is tied for team lead in tackles with 70. He has four sacks.

-- BYU players Joe Sampson and Zac Stout, who have been suspended indefinitely for their involvement in an off-field incident, were among four people charged with misdemeanor assault in connection with a brawl Halloween night at a Provo restaurant, the Provo Daily Herald reported.

--Alabama coach Nick Saban said on his radio show Thursday night that junior offensive lineman D.J. Fluker is "a guy who's probably going to go out for the (NFL) draft" after this season. "I can't say that right for sure yet," Saban said, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. "And we won't even consider it until after the season. That's going to be an important spot in recruiting."
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