USC Football

Tennessee Mascot Contacted By Ed Orgeron

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 31:  Tennessee Volunteers mascot Smokey IX gets ready to run on the field during pre-game introductions before the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Virginia Tech beat Tennessee 37-14.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Zach WhiteContributor IJanuary 22, 2010

Oxnard, CA—Ed Orgeron admitted to calling the Volunteers mascot Tuesday after he learned he would be heading to Southern California, a source reports.

"Yes, I did call Smokey to clear up any questions he had," Orgeron said, according to the report. "In my knowledge, I followed the rules correctly."

Orgeron would not say whether or not he had offered him a home at USC. He also refused to say whether he told Smokey he was a good puppy in order to avoid transfer rules.

"I'm not going to get into that," he told the newspaper, adding, "I made tremendously strong ties with adorable puppies in Tennessee. All I did was present the options.”

The NCAA currently has no rules involving the transfer of ownership of any kind of animal. A spokesperson for the NCAA told us in a statement that they “have no idea what we are talking about” and to “please stop calling.”

The caretakers of Tennessee mascot, the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, said “WOOOOOOO” and that they would “drink us under the table,” when asked to comment.

For now, Smokey will remain at Tennessee. Orgeron said he will be looking into adopting and mentioned he had a “very cute Labrador” already in mind.

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