Tennessee suspends baseball coach Tony Vitello for series with Dayton after violation
Tennessee baseball coach Tony Vitello has been suspended for this weekend’s series against Dayton, the program announced Friday afternoon.
Tennessee didn’t go into specifics, but it’s allegedly down to manipulation of transfer shortstop Maui Ahuna.
“The university and coach Vitello are working with the NCAA to resolve a violation in the program,” the team said in a statement. “Coach Vitello is suspended for the weekend’s series with Josh Elander serving as acting head coach and we will provide an update on Monday.
“Coach Vitello admitted his mistake and took full responsibility.”
It is unclear what violation Vitello committed specifically.
Ahuna transferred from Kansas to Tennessee last offseason but has yet to be cleared to play – which the team only found out earlier this month. Vitello said Tuesday night that he doesn’t have a specific update on when Ahuna might return, but that he’s handling the situation “like a f***ing champ.”
Ahuna hit .396 and had 48 RBI and eight homers last season while earning first-team All-Big 12 honors with the Jayhawks last season.
“He was really good at getting extra work [the cages] and on the field because he knows he’s not going to burn a lot of calories out there,” Vitello said of Ahuna via 247 Sports. “He was [Austen Jaslove’s] Fan #1. Next to him warming up, if you get here in time you can see what he’s doing. Then he’s just a fun-loving boy in general.”
No. 3 Tennessee went into Friday’s game with a 3-2 record. After the three-game series with Dayton, the Volunteers will host Charleston Southern for a few games next week before hosting Gonzaga in a three-game series next weekend.
https://sports.yahoo.com/tennessee-suspends-baseball-coach-tony-vitello-for-series-with-dayton-after-violation-214430938.html?src=rss Tennessee suspends baseball coach Tony Vitello for series with Dayton after violation