Well, this is frustrating.
The University of Tennessee is appealing the initial ruling over Bryce Brown. Details themselves are a little scant, but reading between the lines implies that Bryce Brown is not eligible to play at the moment. It is important to note that this is an 'initial ruling', whatever that means in their parlance, and not a 'final ruling', which leaves the appeal process open.
From the GVX article linked above:
UT officials wouldn't comment on the specifics of the ruling, however, a repayment of any extra benefits Brown may have received when he was in high school and a one- or two-game suspension at UT are possible, but that is considered a worst-case scenario.
UT officials reiterated that the NCAA investigation has nothing to do with the Vols' recruitment of Brown, who was ranked the No. 1 prospect by Rivals.com in 2009. The investigation began early this year, before Brown signed with UT in March.
Things we already knew: UT did absolutely nothing wrong, and this is centered around the fundraising that Brian Butler did to get Bryce (and others) out to college camps.
From Mike Hamilton:
"Our hope is that sometime in the next two-and-a-half weeks we'll get a more favorable ruling as to what his amateur status is and what he has to do to make sure that he is able to be eligible to play."
That tells us that the ruling is currently not favorable, which must mean that Brown's eligibility as an amateur was lost due to the fundraising, and that he is therefore not eligible to play.
Out of 6 running backs, we are now down to 3, having lost Creer to departure, Williams to injury, and Brown to the NCAA's probing into his highly felonious and criminal activities as a 15-16 year old kid in the streetwise hood of Wichita. Yes, I'm venting a bit. Steady as she goes, and we'll see when the details come out, but this really feels stupid.
Oh, and Reggie Bush does not approve.