Football players Michael Palardy, left, Maurice Couch, center, and James Stone sign autographs during the University of Tennessee Alumni Association's Welcome Back Barbecue.(AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Saul Young)
KNOXVILLE — Tennessee defensive lineman Maurice Couch has apologized after being ruled ineligible for Saturday's game with No. 2 Oregon.
Couch wrote on his Twitter account Friday, "I want to apologize to everyone from my family, teammates n the Volnation. I'm sorry I let u guys down." Although the account (MoTrilla44) isn't verified, Tennessee athletic department spokesman Jason Yellin confirmed it belongs to Couch.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones said Couch wouldn't play against Oregon while the university investigates allegations he received improper benefits.
A Yahoo Sports reported that Couch, former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and former Mississippi State receiver Chad Bumphis received payments from Luther Davis, who acted as a go-between for the players with agents and financial advisers.