KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The NCAA extended Tennessee's probation by two years as part of additional penalties handed down Friday after 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 was 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 Southern Cal'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.
Seastrunk, a running back, eventually signed with Oregon and now plays for Baylor.
"We will finally close the chapter on the prior actions of members of a previous coaching staff," athletic director Dave Hart said. "We have significantly strengthened our culture of compliance at Tennessee and we continue to do so. We disagree with additional penalties for a matter we believed should have been part of the previous case. We will now move forward."
The penalties reduce the number of official visits the football staff can have for the 2012-13 academic year from 51 to 47. The school also can't provide complimentary tickets to recruits who make unofficial visits for the first two conference games in the 2013 season.
Ex-Bull arrested: Former USF safety Kevin Verpaele, 32, was charged with solicitation of a minor after his arrest Wednesday in Satellite Beach, Florida Today reported. Verpaele, an assistant football coach at Viera High, remained jailed on a $35,000 bond.
FIU 34, FAU 24: Richard Leonard returned a third-quarter kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to retake the lead and Jake Medlock followed with a one of his two touchdown passes as Florida International (3-8, 2-5 Sun Belt) overcame Graham Wilbert's 403-yard passing night for host Florida Atlantic (3-8, 2-5).
Women's soccer: Tiffany McCarty scored in the second overtime as Florida State, a No. 1 region seed, turned away Texas Tech 3-2 to advance out of the second round of the NCAA tournament in Tallahassee. McCarty had scored in regulation to put FSU ahead 2-1, but Janine Beckie's second goal tied the score in the 88th minute. The Seminoles (18-3-0) face Texas A&M (18-4-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday. … Taylor Travis scored her first goal of the season and Florida, the No. 2 seed in the same region as FSU, shut out UCF 1-0 to advance in Gainesville. The Gators (19-4-1) play Notre Dame (14-5-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday.
USF volleyball advances: J'beria Davis had 18 kills and the sixth-seeded Bulls upset third-seeded Notre Dame 25-17, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19 to reach the semifinals of the Big East tournament in Milwaukee. The Bulls (17-13) face second-seeded Marquette (25-5) at 4:30 p.m. today.
UF clinches: Florida (22-4, 16-1 SEC) clinched at least a share of the program's 20th SEC regular-season volleyball title, defeating LSU 3-1. UF can win the title outright Sunday against South Carolina.