Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
I wondered aloud when Tennessee signed Bryce Brown back in March if he was worth the gamble given the fact that the NCAA was poking around his adviser/handler Brian Butler.
Now we learn that an NCAA representative is in Knoxville talking to Brown as part of an investigation into whether his amateur status has been violated.
I'm not going to say that I told you so.
Rather, I say let's allow this whole thing to play out before any of us jump to conclusions.
Brown was one of several players whom Butler was advising and helping to raise money to visit college campuses when he was in high school, assuming that's what all this is about.
Brown is also hardly the first player to have a middle man, adviser, street agent or whatever you want to call them at his side in recruiting. Check out the basketball recruiting scene. They set up shop at AAU events.
The fact that this is an issue now, two weeks into preseason camp, suggests that another school likely provided the NCAA with some information warranting a trip to Knoxville. It was pretty obvious in reading between the lines of Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's comments on Tuesday that he feels Brown is being singled out.
As a college coach once told me, it's never a good thing when the NCAA comes to see you.
Tennessee officials remain optimistic that this will all be cleared up and that Brown's eligibility won't be an issue this season. But nobody knows for sure. I don't think the NCAA representative is in town to visit Dollywood.
One thing we do know is that advisers/handlers in recruiting are a huge red flag. For every guy who's genuinely doing it for the good of the kid and simply trying to make sure he makes an informed decision, there are four or five guys with their hand stuck out at every turn.
Let's hope for Brown's sake that it's not the latter with Butler.