Aug. 18, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The trainer who helped guide UT freshman running back Bryce Brown through the recruiting process told WVLT Tuesday that the NCAA has not contacted him in an investigation regarding the star recruit's eligibility.
The exclusive interview with Brian Butler came just minutes after Tennessee head football coach Lane Kiffin said after practice Tuesday that the NCAA is investigating Tennessee freshman running back Bryce Brown.
"Bryce never did one thing wrong during his recruitment," Butler told Sports Overtime's Daryl Hobby. "His parents were very particular about getting everything done right."
As for the investigation: "I have no idea what it's about," Butler said. "In February [the NCAA] wanted to make it about me. I don't know of any new investigation."
Butler says he never raised money for Brown. Instead, he claims he held fundraisers to allow all of his trainees at Potential Players -- Butler's organization -- to travel to various universities on what Butler claims were academic tours.
Kiffin said there is an eligibility issue, but it's not academic-related, nor did it have anything to do with the Vols' recruitment of Brown.
He said the investigation stems from Brown's sophomore season in high school.
Television station KAKE in Brown's hometown of Wichita, Kan., cites a source who says that the investigation is focused on Brown's trainer, Brian Butler, and that Brown has done nothing wrong. The investigation allegedly involves a summer tour that Bryce made to schools with Butler. The source says the investigation will not affect the running back's eligibility at Tennessee.
According to Rivals, Brown was the number one player out of high school this past year.
He left practice early Monday with a hip injury and missed the first few periods of practice on Tuesday on a stationary bike.
Kiffin was hopeful that Brown will be back in practice later this week.