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Vols Get Players Back

Four Tennessee players suspended as part of the school's academic fraud investigation have been cleared to play in Saturday's game against Auburn, school president J. Wade Gilley said today.

Gilley said the investigation "found nothing" indicating any wrongdoing by the players, so the Southeastern Conference will allow them to play.

"The investigation cleared all the players," Gilley said.

In addition to the four redshirt freshmen, starting center Spencer Riley was cleared of any wrongdoing, Gilley said. Riley had not been suspended.

Tennessee athletic director Doug Dickey took the school's preliminary findings from its investigation to SEC commissioner Roy Kramer in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday. The SEC issued its decision about the players late Thursday, Gilley said, though no statement from the league was released.

Kramer did not immediately return a phone call today.

Tennessee is investigating allegations that athletic department tutors did schoolwork for athletes, a possible violation of school honor codes and NCAA rules.

ESPN reported early this week that internal memos show high-level administrators in Tennessee's athletic department were told four tutors might have done schoolwork for at least five unidentified football players, a baseball player and a female athlete. Three of the football players have transferred.

Apparently, none of the information was passed on to campus authorities charged with investigating possible rules infractions, university officials say.

The four redshirt freshmen, including kick returner and sprinter Leonard Scott, were held out of the seventh-ranked Volunteers' game last Saturday against Memphis. The three other players are Reggie Ridley, Keyon Whiteside and Ryan Rowe.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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