Running Back Bryce Brown’s appeal to the NCAA for a release from his scholarship at Tennessee has been denied.
Brown had been seeking an appeal after new Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley refused to grant the release. The failure to gain the release Brown was seeking does not deny him his transfer to Kansas State, but requires him to pay his tuition for two semesters before being put on scholarship, in addition to sitting out one season per NCAA transfer rules.
Brown, a Wichita, Kansas native, who gained praise as the nation’s number one overall recruit in 2009 by Rivals.com, gained 460 yards and three touchdowns on 101 carries his freshman season at Tennessee.
However, his unhappiness and homesickness at Tennessee had long been a topic of discussion in the Knoxville community and after his brother, Arthur, another heralded recruit, announced his imminent transfer from University of Miami (FL) back home to Kansas State, rumors swirled Bryce would soon follow.
There are conflicting stories about how the situation was handled by both parties. Brown and his father have both stated they have repeatedly asked for a release, but Dooley has stated he was never confronted about the request. Bryce’s father even stated he offered to pay for his son to fly back to Knoxville to meet with Coach Dooley, but Dooley reportedly replied, via text message, “No reason to come back here.”
Brown, on the other hand, has been criticized for leaving the Vols program and Knoxville without meeting with Dooley, only sending messages later to the Volunteers coach that he planned to leave the program.
Brown has already enrolled at Kansas State and will become eligible in 2011. He joins a host of other players including WR Chris Harper, WR Brodrick Smith, and his brother Arthur who were highly-regarded players in the Kansas High School ranks that went out-of-state, only to return back home once head coach Bill Snyder ended his retirement to resume coaching at Kansas State again after a three-year absence.
His chief competition for the starting job, upon becoming eligible, figures to come from freshman DeMarcus Robinson, another Wichita, Kansas native.
Although this decision is final and ends his current grapple with the NCAA, Brown may not be done meeting with the collegiate governing body. After reports surfaced about former Tennessee Head Coach Lane Kiffin’s recruiting practices while at the University, Brown was probed in a broadened inquiry to discuss his recruiting via teleconference last week.
Kiffin, who last summer departed for the University of Southern California after one year at Tennessee, has denied breaking any NCAA rules while coaching at Tennessee.
Colin Lobdell is an alum of Kansas State University and a B/R Writing Intern. He resides in the Kansas City area.