The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 13, 2013

Vols offensive lineman Couch ineligible against Ducks

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Butch Jones says defensive lineman Maurice Couch has been ruled ineligible for Saturday’s game against No. 2 Oregon while the university investigates allegations he was one of five Southeastern Conference players to receive improper benefits.

“As of right now, the situation with Mo Couch is we’ve declared him ineligible for this game,” Jones said Thursday during his weekly interview with Nashville radio station 104.5. “Right now our compliance group is currently in the process of working through all the details and logistics of the situation. That’s all we kind of know right now, but as of right now moving forward, he will not make the trip to Oregon.”

Jones later told the Associated Press via text message that it was Tennessee’s compliance department that ruled the 6-foot-2, 304-pound Couch ineligible.

A Yahoo Sports report cited text messages and financial records of former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis, along with an unnamed NFL source who said Davis was a go-between for the players with NFL agents and financial advisers. Couch, a senior from Orlando, Fla., was the only active college player named in the report, which said Couch had received four payments totaling $1,350.

The other players named in the report were former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and former Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis.

Jones wouldn’t discuss Couch’s status for the rest of the season.

“All I can speak of right now is the present,” Jones said in his radio interview, “and the present is he will not be accompanying us to Oregon.”

Couch, 23, played each of Tennessee’s first two games as a reserve and made four tackles and one sack. He made 38 tackles and one sack while starting nine games last season.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014