Rapping Vol cleared of NCAA jam
Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 5:33 pm
By: By BETH RUCKER, AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say Volunteers junior forward Renaldo Woolridge did not commit an NCAA violation when he visited a Knoxville bar over the weekend.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Woolridge received exclusive access to a portion of New Amsterdam Bar and Grill free of charge to film a music video early Sunday morning, a few hours after the Vols (12-7) lost 72-61 at No. 5 Connecticut.
“Renaldo and two other students were scounting a location for a future shoot,” Tennessee spokesman Jimmy Stanton said. “There wasn’t a sign or any security saying it was for private use.”
Athletics officials interviewed Woolridge and the bar’s owner and general manager, who told them the space Woolridge visited is available to Tennessee student groups to use free of charge and that Woolridge did not perform or shoot a music video while he was there.
New Amsterdam was closed Monday, and representatives of the bar did not return a call from The Associated Press.
Tennessee’s football, basketball and baseball programs are currently the subject of an ongoing NCAA investigation.
At the heart of the investigation is basketball coach Bruce Pearl’s admission that he mislead NCAA investigators about hosting recruits at a team cookout at his house and other recruiting violations by Pearl and his staff.
Vols officials reported an additional secondary violation to the NCAA in December after discovering 33 athletes were given special treatment another Knoxville bar when they were given free entry while other patrons were charged between $5 and $10.
None of those athletes received more than $70 in benefits and each paid their share of benefits to a charity.
Woolridge, a native of Sherman Oaks, Calif. and son of former NBA forward Orlando Woolridge, has recorded a number of rap songs and shot music videos under the name “Swiperboy.”
He recorded a song for NFL Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry during his Heisman Trophy campaign at Tennessee in 2009 and released a song called “Never Leave You Like Kiffin” after football coach Lane Kiffin left Tennessee for Southern California in January 2010.
Woolridge was not available to speak to the media after the Vols’ Monday practice.
Tennessee returns to the hardwood on Wednesday at home against LSU.
Pearl will not be on the sideline for that game as he continues to serve his 8-game suspension handed down by the Southeastern Conference for his conduct.