Vanderbilt athletic officials have completed their investigation dealing with allegations of tampering by the Commodores' coaching staff regarding the possible transfer of Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien and have sent the report to the SEC.
O'Brien was one of three Maryland players who all expressed a desire to transfer from the program earlier this year. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin coached O'Brien during his freshman season as Maryland's offensive coordinator (O'Brien was named the ACC freshman of the year), so the feeling was that Vanderbilt would be one of the top choices for the quarterback. However, O'Brien and his teammates weren't originally granted a release to Vanderbilt -- or any of the other ACC schools.
O'Brien was eventually granted a full release by Maryland coach Randy Edsall, but just when people thought O'Brien and Franklin would reunite, Maryland filed a complaint against Vanderbilt alleging that improper contact occurred between the school and the quarterback.
Vanderbilt officials are unable to elaborate or release the conclusion of the report until the SEC reviews it, but vice chancellor David Williams did release a statement through the school on the situation Wednesday:
We did a thorough review. We looked closely at months of phone and email records, and Twitter accounts. We interviewed all of our coaches with University of Maryland backgrounds and we also interviewed the student-athlete.
Our reputation is our primary concern. We have a long and proud history of playing by the letter and the spirit of the rules. Coach Franklin feels the same way. He and his staff were most cooperative.
Williams said the study was done internally because if the matter was indeed a violation it would -- at most -- be a secondary one.
O'Brien will graduate from Maryland this spring, meaning he'd be able to play immediately this fall and would have two years of eligibility remaining. O'Brien has shown interest in other schools, but he hasn't committed anywhere, meaning Vanderbilt still has a chance. The longer this drags on, the worse it is for Vandy's staff, but his decision to take his time with this certainly helps the Commodores' chances.
One way or the other, a decision from the SEC will speed up the process.