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Kentucky banishes big fan for 27 years

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Published January 16, 2004

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky has banned a fan from any involvement with the school's athletic program for 27 years.

Brian Poe, 34, was banned for contacting potential recruits during the spring of 2002, the university said.

Poe, who runs a Kentucky fan Web site, cannot purchase season tickets, and coaches, players, staff members and potential recruits can't have contact with him.

Poe originally was banned for two years after the university said he inappropriately interviewed high school recruits.

Kentucky compliance director Sandy Bell contacted the NCAA after finding out about Poe's interviews. She was told the school was responsible for Poe's actions and had to report the violations.

Bell was told by another booster that Poe was circulating e-mails asking for help in recruiting athletes. The school talked with NCAA officials, and an additional 25 years was added.

The NCAA says fan Web sites aren't considered media outlets and the school might be accountable if a representative contacts a recruit.

Such contact might be an NCAA violation.

Kentucky is serving a three-year probation for recruiting violations committed during the tenure of former coach Hal Mumme, which, Poe contends, is one reason the penalty was so extreme.

"It's exceedingly long," he said. "But with (Kentucky) being on probation, they probably felt they had to make a statement."

Poe is the sixth person to be banned by Kentucky. Joe Brett Langley was banned for three years. Brian McCarty, Gary McKee and Bud Willis were given five years. And Lexington horseman Tom Gentry received a lifetime ban for NCAA-related problems during the 1970s.

Star cornerback commits to play at Florida

One day after losing one of its top oral commitments, Florida picked up another solid player for its defense.

Jacksonville Ed White cornerback Dawayne Grace has committed to the Gators, according to his coach, Dan Disch.

His decision comes on the heels of receiver Lance Leggett's decision to switch from Florida to Miami. Leggett committed to the Gators in late December but changed his mind Wednesday.

Oral commitments are nonbinding. National signing day is Feb. 4.

Grace, at 6 feet 1, 180 pounds, is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the state and among the top 20 in the nation by several recruiting services.

BEAR BRYANT AWARD: LSU's Nick Saban won the award given by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association to the nation's top coach. He led the Tigers to a 13-1 record and a share of the national title, winning the BCS title game against Oklahoma at the Sugar Bowl.

ARKANSAS: Quarterback Matt Jones said he will return for his senior season.

FIU: Former Hurricanes player Bernard Clark was named defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

SOUTHERN MISS: Linebacker Michael Boley will return for his senior season. Boley was a first-team All-Conference USA player who led the team in sacks (11) and was second in tackles (154).

- Times staff write Antonya English contributed to this report.

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