Feb. 15, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee football signee Jacques McClendon received an improper benefit when he and his mother attended a Lady Vols basketball game as guests of a booster, school officials said Wednesday.
Athletic department officials were preparing to report themselves to the Southeastern Conference for the secondary violation, spokeswoman Tiffany Carpenter said.
McClendon, a star offensive lineman from Chattanooga, was at Sunday's game against LSU. They were sitting on the front row in courtside seats that fans can purchase for a one-time donation of $40,000 per pair.
As a penalty for the violation, the McClendons will have to pay the price of two game tickets, which is about $11.50 each, officials said.
Officials wouldn't reveal the details of the report they planned to file Thursday. They wouldn't say who gave the tickets to the McClendons or who owns the seats.
McClendon couldn't be reached for comment, and coach Phillip Fulmer didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
McClendon and his mother, Stephanie, watched the first half of the game. They left their seats at halftime, and moved to seats in another section for the second half, officials said.
Secondary violations are fairly common among NCAA schools, and the SEC normally accepts whatever penalty the school has self-imposed.