KNOXVILLE — Tennessee defensive tackle Mo Couch will not play when the Volunteers visit No. 2 Oregon on Saturday.
First-year coach Butch Jones said on his weekly radio appearance on Nashville-based radio station WGFX on Thursday night that Tennessee has declared the senior ineligible for the game.
Couch was implicated in a Yahoo! report that on Wednesday alleged he was one of five SEC players to receive improper extra benefits. He received four payments totaling $1,300 from former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis, who was a mediator between the players and NFL agents and financial advisors, according to the report.
"Our compliance group is currently in the process of working through all the details and logistics of the situation," Jones said. "That's all we kind of know right now, but as of right now moving forward, he will not make the trip to Oregon."
Couch, a second-team tackle behind Daniel McCullers and Daniel Hood, left Tuesday's practice because Jones said he got overheated, and the coach said Wednesday night that Couch probably wouldn't travel to Oregon because of the heat exhaustion that also caused him to miss Wednesday's practice.
Beyond this week, Couch's future remains uncertain.
"All I can speak of right now is the present," Jones said, "and the present is he will not be accompanying us to Oregon."
Redshirt sophomore Trevarris Saulsberry figures to see the biggest bump in plays for the Vols with Couch out, and redshirt freshman Danny O'Brien also could see more snaps. Defensive end Marlon Walls also could slide inside to tackle.
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 ...