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Yahoo: Bray and Couch Took Impermissible Benefits

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Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

Yahoo has reported this afternoon that five SEC players--including former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and current Tennessee defensive tackle Maurice Couch--have taken impermissible benefits.

Yahoo has Charles Robinson on the case, and, as he always does, he provides mountains of evidence for his claims, mostly consisting of Western Union receipts. However, none of the improper benefits appears to be from boosters, but rather from Luther Davis, a former Alabama player and intermediary for NFL agents.

Of the five players, only senior Vols tackle Maurice Couch is still active, and a suspension robbing Tennessee of depth at an already shallow position would not be shocking. Also, two of the three schools involved--Tennessee and Mississippi State--are currently on probation, which may affect how much slack they get from the NCAA.

As is always the case with the NCAA, vacated wins are on the table, which matters very little for anyone, and matters especially little for Tennessee, who didn't exactly win during Derek Dooley's time at the school. However, the NCAA may try to take a trophy from Alabama, whose D.J. Fluker seems to have taken the most from Davis.

It's hard to say right now what will come out of this, but we will keep you posted. We can only hope the fallout from Dooley's watch doesn't hang around as long as the fallout from Kiffin's.

UPDATE: It is confirmed that Couch will not play against Oregon. He left practice early Tuesday because of heat exhaustion, and Jones claims that is why he will be held out of Saturday's game. [Believe what you will, but note here that Couch has had conditioning related problems before that were compounded by asthma.]