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What Is Lane Kiffin Doing With Tennessee's Hostesses?

From today's New York Times, the NCAA is investigating the use of Tennessee's hostesses to lure recruits to Knoxville;

A significant part of the investigation is focused on the use of recruiting hostesses who have become folk heroes on Tennessee Internet message boards for their ability to help lure top recruits. N.C.A.A. officials have visited four prospects and are scheduled to visit two others this week in an investigation covering at least three states. The inquiry is unusual in its scope and its timing. It is rare that the N.C.A.A. looks at this wide a swath of one university's recruits before the players have signed with a program in February.

Of course, an investigation could be nothing. But where there is smoke, there is fire and Lane Kiffin has been striking matches his entire first year at UT. That the hostesses are involved surely has made everyone's ears perk up. It seems that they have been doing more than just showing the recruits around Neyland Stadium.

In one case, hostesses traveled nearly 200 miles to attend a high school game in South Carolina in which at least three Tennessee recruits were playing...The hostesses are considered representatives of the university, which would mean they could not recruit players off campus. Therefore, the visits may be considered violations of N.C.A.A. recruiting rules.

The article mentions other hostesses contacting recruits and mentions how Bryce Brown has a picture with a hostess on his facebook or Myspace page, implying that it was taken while he was a recruit. That is not a violation, but the article then states that hostesses have contacted recruits through social networking sites, which is a violation if the hostess is seen as a representative of the school.

Right now, it's all relatively tame, but it could explode into something more. If Kiffin is using the hostesses as a way to get to recruits outside the NCAA rules, it could be serious trouble for the Vols.