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Tennessee's Couch declared ineligible

The SportsXchange

The NCAA declared Tennessee senior defensive tackle Maurice Couch permanently ineligible, the school announced on Friday.

Couch was the only active college football player named in a Yahoo! Sports report regarding improper benefits provided to Southeastern Conference players.

Former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, former Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis and former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker were also named in the report. None of them is still playing college football.

According to the Yahoo! Sports report, Couch received four payments from former Alabama defensive lineman Luther Davis, who allegedly was acting as a middle man between standout SEC players and agents. The four transfers reportedly totaled $1,350.

Couch has already missed six games, and Tennessee plans to appeal the decision.

Couch, who is a husband and father of two children, tweeted the following response:

"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

"And thanks to UT, coaches, teammates, Volnation, and everyone else involved sincerely appreciate everything you done for me. #salute"
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