published Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

UT denies Woolridge committed a violation

KNOXVILLE -- University of Tennessee officials squelched a report Monday night that basketball player Renaldo Woolridge committed any NCAA violations over the weekend.

According to the reports, the junior forward rented out the upstairs portion of an off-campus bar to film part of a hip-hop video free of charge, which could have been a violation of rules regarding improper benefits and preferential treatment.

UT officials said that research done by the school's compliance staff found that no violation occurred because nothing was recorded and Woolridge simply was scouting the location for possible future use.

Woolridge's talents as a hip-hop artist under the name "Swiperboy" are well-documented, and his music videos have been shown at UT football and basketball games.

He has been working exclusively with the Volunteers' scout team, has played in only two games since the end of November and did not dress for Saturday's loss to Connecticut because of an ankle injury.

"We're very supportive of Renaldo as a student and very supportive of him in his major in film and communication, particularly with a very unique talent," UT coach Bruce Pearl said at a weekly news conference Monday.

"We encourage him to be the best he can be in both pursuits, academically as well as through basketball, [but] there's got to be a balance there.

Follow our Vols beat writer Patrick Brown on Twitter by following this link.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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