Tennessee suspends baseball coach Tony Vitello for Dayton series

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee suspended baseball coach Tony Vitello on Friday for Volunteers’ weekend series with Dayton while college, Vitello and NCAA officials deal with violations in the program.

Officials announced the suspension shortly before the Third Place Volunteers opened a three-game match against Dayton. Josh Elander will replace Vitello as acting head coach. The university said an update would be made available on Monday.

“Coach Vitello has admitted his mistake and took full responsibility,” Tennessee said in a statement. “We appreciate his partnership in this process and his dedication to doing the right thing for student-athletes in the Tennessee baseball program.”

Tennessee cited NCAA regulations to prevent any further details from being released. But shortstop Maui Ahuna has yet to be allowed to play for Tennessee after transferring to the school last June.

Ahuna is a Kansas All-Big 12 player who beat 0.396 with eight hosts and 48 RBIs. The Vols were the No. 1 seed overall in last year’s NCAA tournament, losing only to Notre Dame in the super region.

Vitello was given a four-game ban by the NCAA last season after head referee Jeffrey Macias hit his chest during a head-to-head match against Alabama. Vitello has partnered with a fraternity to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project by chest press for a $2 donation.


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