KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said Thursday he was not "aware" of any recruiting violations committed by himself, his assistants or support staff regarding the university's student ambassador program.
"Myself and our staff take the rules and the bylaws of the NCAA and SEC extremely serious," Kiffin said. "We work extremely hard to follow those. In this situation right here, I don't know of any wrongdoing of any members of our staff in this, or of the kids that are being questioned in this."
Tennessee confirmed Wednesday the NCAA is looking into the activities of members of the university's Orange Pride group in a statement.
Kiffin and Tennessee men's athletics director Mike Hamilton spoke Thursday at a news conference held at Neyland Stadium originally scheduled in connection with the Vols' berth in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Both said they had received no official inquiry from the NCAA and did not know whether one would surface.
Several Orange Pride's "ambassadors" traveled nearly 200 miles to a high school football game where three players are being actively recruited by the Vols. Highly touted defensive lineman Brandon Willis and Corey Miller have committed verbally to Tennessee, and Kiffin's 2010 class is ranked No. 5 nationally by Rivals.com.
Some Tennessee recruits have been questioned about the program's recruiting practices, and more anticipate being interviewed.
The fathers of Willis and Miller said they hadn't noticed any irregularities in their sons' recruitment, or with the Orange Pride members' visit. They described the female Tennessee students as friends of their sons who promised in the summer they would drive down for a game.
Stanford's Harbaugh hires dad for Sun Bowl. Stanford will have a second Harbaugh on the coaching staff for the Sun Bowl.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh said that he's hired his dad, Jack, to be the interim running backs coach for the Cardinal's first bowl game since 2001. He replaces Willie Taggart, who was hired last month as the coach at Western Kentucky, his alma mater.
Stanford (8-4, 6-3 Pac-10) faces Oklahoma (7-6, 5-3 Big 12) on Dec. 30 in the Sun Bowl in El Paso.
Television ratings grow. The SEC package on CBS averaged its highest rating since college football returned to the network in 1996. The 4.4 rating was up 29 percent from last year.
That beat the average rating on ABC for the first time since 1990. Ratings on ABC were down slightly to a 3.9. But partner ESPN had its highest rating since 1999; the 2.2 was up 10 percent from last year.
Ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions tuned into a program.