NASHVILLE -- Tennessee suspended secondary coach Willie Martinez from coaching in Saturday's season opener against Bowling Green due to an NCAA Level III (Secondary) violation.
"Martinez is not permitted to be an active participant of the coaching staff today and will not be at Nissan Stadium," the Volunteers said in a statement.
Program spokesman Ryan Robinson said Martinez also faces some minor recruiting restrictions. Robinson also said Tennessee self-reported the recruiting violation. The Vols no longer are recruiting the player in question.
Martinez is a former Georgia defensive coordinator and Auburn assistant coach who was in his third season on staff at Tennessee.
"The athletics department worked with the NCAA while this matter was being reviewed," Tennessee's statement read.
"The violation was a result of impermissible contact that occurred during the spring evaluation period in 2014. Our coaches are aware this is a new point of emphasis relative to recruiting parameters and we concurred with the NCAA's classification as a secondary violation.
"Willie Martinez cooperated fully throughout the process and he will continue to be an integral member of our football staff and resume his coaching duties on Sunday morning."
Defensive quality control coach Stephen Smith will assume Martinez's coaching role in the booth for Saturday's game.
The Vols kick off against Bowling Green at 4 p.m.
Tennessee's secondary will include two new starters after preseason injuries to Rashaan Gaulden and LaDarrell McNeil, with Malik Foreman and likely Evan Berry stepping into the lineup.
Now the group also will be with its position coach.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.