Gary Willis, the father of Tennessee recruit Brandon Willis, had planned to drive his son from Duncan, S.C., to Knoxville, Tenn., on Tuesday night so Brandon could begin classes on Wednesday. “We won’t be going to Tennessee now,” the elder Willis said.
Willis had narrowed his choices to UCLA, North Carolina and Tennessee. He announced his commitment to Tennessee during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. The elder Willis said the family had spoken to UCLA and North Carolina coaches on Tuesday night after Kiffin news broke. Had Willis set foot in a class at Tennessee, he would have had to obtain a waiver from the NCAA to transfer without sitting out a year. “I’m glad it happened when it happened,” Gary Willis said. “It could have been a real mess.”
Brandon Willis was one of the Byrnes High football players at the center of the NCAAs investigation into Tennessee’s use of its recruiting hostess program. Two hostesses were photographed by SI.com with Willis and teammate Corey Miller, another Tennessee recruit after Byrnes beat Gaffney High on Sept. 25. The NCAA is trying to determine whether the hostesses acted on their own or if they were directed to attend the game by a member of Tennessees coaching staff.