ST. LOUIS — The NCAA has ruled Tennessee defensive tackle Mo Couch permanently ineligible.
The Volunteers, though, will appeal the decision, associate athletic director for communication Jimmy Stanton said via text message Friday afternoon.
The senior last played against Western Kentucky in the season's second game. During the week of the Oregon game in September, Couch was named in a Yahoo! Sports report that alleged he and four other SEC players received impermissable benefits from an individual connected to NFL agents and financial advisers.
None of the other players -- Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and Mississippi State receiver Chad Bumphis and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox -- were still playing in college.
According to the report, former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis, acting as an intermediary between the players and agents and advisers, wired $1,350 in four money transfers via a Western Union location in Tuscaloosa.
Couch recorded a tackle for loss in each of the two games he played this season and registered a sack in the opener.
"At the end of the day, what's most important is I have my family, my degree, and love n support from the Volnation!" he posted on his Twitter account Friday.
"And thanks to UT, coaches, teammates, Volnation, and everyone else involved sincerely appreciate everything you done for me," read an ensuing tweet.
The 6-foot-2, 304-pound Florida native, who is married with a young daughter, signed with the Vols in 2011 out of Garden City Community College in Kansas. In his first season at Tennessee, Couch had 37 tackles, six for lost yardage. In 2012, he was the second-leading tackler among defensive linemen with 38 stops and added four tackles for loss and one sack.
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 ...