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Vols violations include player promoting replica jersey sale

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee has self-reported an NCAA violation that involved a football player advertising the sale of a replica version of his jersey on Facebook.

The incident was among seven Level III and Level IV violations that Tennessee reported over the last six months. The reports were obtained Monday through a public records request.

The Facebook-related violation involved a football player permitting the use of his name and image to promote a commercial project. The player wasn't identified.

After the player made the post, which has since been deleted, a Facebook friend of his paid the player $300 for four jerseys. The player said the jersey manufacturer was an acquaintance of someone from the player's hometown.

The player said he intended to give the $300 to that acquaintance but could never reach the jersey manufacturer to confirm shipment.

The buyer was disappointed over the delay in receiving the jerseys and contacted school administrators on Dec. 4. Compliance officials then determined a violation had been committed.

The player paid the compliance office $300, which was refunded to the buyer. The player and the buyer were Facebook friends but didn't know each other personally. The player also had no direct contact with the jersey manufacturer.

The player received education on the rules and was held out of athletic competition until the NCAA reinstated him on Dec. 19. School officials said that if they can identify the jersey manufacturer, they will send a cease-and-desist order on the production of any commercial products containing the name, image or likeness of Tennessee student-athletes.

Other football-related violations included the staff putting special additions to an area outside of an athletic facility for a paintball game while unofficial visitors were on campus, two walk-on players participating in a practice session while not enrolled full-time and the assistant director of on-campus recruiting texting logistical information regarding an official visit to a prospect more than 24 hours before his unofficial visit.

Other violations included a sports information staffer providing a hyperlink to a recruiting service in a tweet on the school's women's soccer account, a swimmer using her name and image to promote her own personal jewelry company and a women's basketball assistant calling a prospect who hadn't yet reached the permissible age to receive such calls.

Andrew Donovan, Tennessee's senior associate athletics director for regulatory affairs, said in a statement that "Level III violations are a byproduct of a healthy compliance program. There are thousands of NCAA rules and interpretations of those rules, so it is expected that inadvertent, minor violations may occur on occasion."

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Updated January 13, 2020

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