KNOXVILLE – Tennessee defensive tackle Maurice Couch has been declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA, a team spokesman confirmed on Friday afternoon.
Couch hasn’t played since UT declared him ineligible after a Yahoo Sports report on September 11 alleged that he and other SEC players accepted impermissible benefits. Couch, who allegedly accepted approximately $1300 from a representative of an agent, was the only active SEC player named in the report.
Former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, now of the Kansas City Chiefs, was also named in the report.
Tennessee will appeal the NCAA’s decision on Couch.
Couch has missed six games – Oregon, Florida, South Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama – since the report surfaced.
A junior college transfer in 2011, Couch has been a regular in Tennessee’s defensive line rotation over the past two seasons. He appeared in all 12 games with nine starts in 2012 and added two game appearances this season as a reserve behind starting defensive tackles Daniel McCullers and Daniel Hood.
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga
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