Dooley: 'This wasn't under our watch'

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley didn't seem too bothered, or concerned, after practice on Tuesday while fielding questions about Monday night's Yahoo! Sports report.

"I can't changed what happened," Dooley said. "So all we can deal with is make sure everyone understands that this wasn't under our watch. It wasn't involving a coach on our staff and it doesn't involve a player whose been in our program."

"So I'm hoping the NCAA is going to stay consistent with what they've done, which is: Let's target the people who made these mistakes, not the programs."

The NCAA is once again in talks to UT about possible recruiting violations.

According to a Yahoo! Sports report, former assistant coach Willie Mack Garza is the focus of the investigation.

The report says Garza wired $1,500 to a talent-scout to cover the costs of airfare for a former recruit and his mother to make an unofficial visit from Waco, TX to Knoxville.

The website says former five-star running back prospect Lache Seastrunk was the recruit. Seastrunk signed with Oregon, but is now attending Baylor

Garza's lone year at Tennessee was 2009, serving as an assistant under then-head coach Lane Kiffin. Garza followed Kiffin to Southern Cal, but unexpectedly resigned last month citing personal issues.

Willie Lyles, a former Texas-based talent scout, told Yahoo that he has provided the NCAA with receipts for the plane tickets and a handwritten receipt from MoneyGram.

Lyles has also had relationships with Oregon and LSU. The NCAA is investigating both schools and their ties with Lyles.

Major division one schools pay thousands of dollars to recruiting services each year. According to WVLT's media partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel, UT spent more than $300,000 for such services in 2010.

"There's a lot of good legitimate scouting services out there," Dooley said. "I think it's like anything. I think there are probably some guys that don't provide a service as it relates to scouting. And those guys to me aren't considered scouting services. All I know is, we do a lot of quality control on what goes out of our program to make sure what is coming in is within the rules and is giving us what we need from an evaluation standpoint."

Last month, the NCAA accepted UT's self-imposed penalties following the NCAA's 22-month long investigation into the Vols' football and basketball programs.

The school is now on two years probation. However, UT officials do not believe the potential recruiting violations would subject the university to the NCAA's repeat offender rules.


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