Tennessee Football: Breaking Down Vols' New NCAA Penalties

Randy ChambersAnalyst INovember 16, 2012

The NCAA has announced additional penalties against the Tennessee football program for the incident involving former assistant coach Willie Mack Garza and former head coach Lane Kiffin in 2009. These violations included improper recruiting contacts, and Kiffin was cited by the NCAA for failure to monitor.

Don't worry, these penalties aren't to be compared to what USC received or what recently happened to Penn State.

However, they will  include a two-year extension of the probation that was issued in 2011. Official visits for the 2012-13 academic year will also be reduced from 51 to 47.

No complimentary tickets are to be given for unofficial visits for the first two conference games of next year. There has also been a three-year show-cause order for Garza, as well as a reduction in evaluation days during the 2013 season from 168 to 164.

According to the report, Dave Hart, the vice chancellor and director of athletics, is just happy this is finally a thing of the past:

We will finally close the chapter on the prior actions of members of a previous football coaching staff. 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.

So what does this mean for Tennessee? Well, really a whole bunch of nothing.

Recruits won't be provided free tickets to take unofficial visits to the first couple of conference games next year, which will be a road game against Florida and a home game against Georgia.

Those are two important conference games, so it may make recruits upset that they will pay their own way, but conference games against South Carolina and Alabama later in the year should make up for everything.

The probation period is now extended until August 2015, which isn't a big deal as long as everybody keeps their nose clean moving forward.

The show-cause penalty against Garza means that any school that would hire him would have to check in with the NCAA and report back on his behavior every six months until the period has been lifted.

The loss of four official visits may be the penalty that hurts the most, but even that is something Tennessee can live with, as there are 47 visits still on the table.

I can promise you that the team can sleep well knowing that this was just a slap on the wrist from the NCAA.

We can now turn our focus back to the football side of things and possibly hiring a new head coach.