It was apparent that Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton had a pep in his step when he walked out onto the middle of the Vols practice field here Wednesday evening.
After talking to his head coach Lane Kiffin for about five minutes during a water break, Kiffin gathered the team around for an announcement.
Apparently Kiffin told his team that they would be going to war this season with true freshman running Bryce Brown. A roar of happiness from the team was a sign of good things to come.
Kiffin confirmed with the media after practice that Hamilton had delivered him the good news, and that indeed Brown had been cleared by the NCAA.
“The good news of the day is that Bryce Brown has been cleared by the NCAA,” Kiffin said with a smile. “Our guys at the University of Tennessee did an outstanding job with the appeal to the NCAA.”
For the first time Kiffin admitted what the initial NCAA ruling had been.
“It was a four game suspension and a whole lot of money to be repaid,” Kiffin explained. “Bryce will not miss any games and he won’t have to repay any money.”
Brown, who missed practice yesterday, returned to the gridiron today, looking sharp and crisps in his runs.
Brown is expected to be on the Volunteers two deep roster at running back when that information will be released next week. Most are projecting him at the No. 2 spot behind senior Montario Hardesty.
“We are relieved and happy for the young man,” Kiffin said. “He has done everything the right way and hasn’t done anything wrong.”