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Tennessee DT Maurice Couch ruled permanently ineligible

Maurice Couch (Collegiate Images/Getty Images) Tennessee defensive tackle Maurice Couch had 79 tackles in 26 career games. (Collegiate Images/Getty Images)

The NCAA has declared Tennessee senior defensive tackle Maurice Couch permanently ineligible after Couch was found to have received improper benefits from an agent, the Vols announced on Friday.

UT plans to appeal the decision.

Couch was one of four current FBS players and one former player implicated in a September report from Yahoo! Sports alleging that the players violated NCAA rules by receiving extra benefits. Couch was said to have received four payments totaling $1,350.

Such actions would violate NCAA Bylaw 12.3.1.2, which prohibits student-athletes from receiving benefits from agents.

On Sept. 12, Tennessee's compliance staff ruled Couch ineligible as it continued to investigate the allegations and await word from the NCAA. He last played in the Vols' Sept. 7 game against Western Kentucky.

A redshirt senior from Orlando, Couch played in 26 career games at Tennessee, amassing 79 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss in his UT career.

After the news broke, Couch thanked UT fans on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/MoTrilla44/status/396321296180871168

https://twitter.com/MoTrilla44/status/396323147257221120

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