Couch says he took benefits to help support family

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Former Tennessee defensive lineman Maurice Couch says family obligations led him to accept benefits, which caused him to lose his eligibility.

Couch is married with a daughter. He said Monday on Tennessee Sports Radio that "as a father, I had to do what I had to (do) to take care of my family." Couch said he feared that his wife otherwise would have to return to her family in Kansas.

Couch played only two games for Tennessee this season before Yahoo Sports reported in September that he received four payments totaling $1,350 from Luther Davis, who acted as a go-between for the players with agents and financial advisers. Tennessee announced last month that the NCAA had declared Couch permanently ineligible.

Couch says he's on track to graduate later this month.

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