The third-ranked college baseball team in the country has suspended its head coach for its weekend series due to a “violation in the program.”
Tennessee announced the suspension of Tony Vitello on Friday prior to the start of a three-game series against the Dayton Flyers.
“The University and Coach Vitello are working collaboratively with the NCAA to address a violation in the program,” Tennessee athletics said in a statement. “Coach Vitello will be suspended for this weekend’s series, with Josh Elander serving as acting head coach, and we will provide an update on Monday.”
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“Coach Vitello has acknowledged his mistake and accepted full responsibility. We appreciate his cooperation in the process and his dedication to do right by the student-athletes in the Tennessee baseball program. NCAA bylaws prohibit additional comment or details. The University will continue to emphasize-to all staff-the imperative of leading with honesty and integrity.”
The suspension is not an NCAA suspension, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
While Tennessee did not go into specifics on the suspension, it comes as shortstop Maui Ahuna has yet to be cleared to play after transferring from Kansas last June.
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Ahuna, a first-team all-Big 12 player in 2022, has not appeared in Tennessee’s first six games.
“I know professionals from different entities are working on it, which makes me feel as good as I can and, hopefully, him as good as he can about it,” Vitello said Tuesday, according to Knox News. “People that are way more professional than me and a lot of people that are looking out for the kid’s sole interest. Hopefully, an update soon but I don’t have something specific now.”
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The Vols moved to 4-2 on Friday, defeating Dayton 12-2 on their home field.