KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The NCAA has extended Tennessee’s probation by two years as part of additional penalties handed down Friday following the ruling that former football assistant coach Willie Mack Garza provided impermissible travel and lodging to a former prospect.
Penalties include a public reprimand and censure plus a reduction in official visits, evaluation days and complimentary tickets to recruits on unofficial visits. This extends a probationary period that started in August 2011 and now runs through Aug. 23, 2015.
Garza, who worked at Tennessee on former coach Lane Kiffin’s staff, received a three-year show-cause order. The show-cause penalty means that any school that hires him must prove to the NCAA that it is rules compliant. Garza resigned as USC’s secondary coach two days before the Trojans started their 2011 season.
The NCAA ruled Garza reimbursed talent scout Will Lyles for plane tickets and hotel expenses associated with an unofficial visit made by Lache Seastrunk and his mother in the summer of 2009. The visit occurred outside the permissible time period for prospects to make expense-paid visits. The NCAA classified Lyles as a booster because he arranged the trip.
The penalties reduce the number of official visits Tennessee’s football staff can have for the 2012-13 academic year from 51 to 47.