Martin Denies Taking Money

Tee Martin has told the Mobile Register that he did not take money from insurance executive Dianne Sanford in 1999.

Martin who is playing in NFL Europe says Sanford handles his insurance and is a family friend.

The SEC is investigating payments to former Volunteer quarterback Tee Martin. Allegedly, Mobile native Tee Martin had just led the Vols to the national championship three years ago, when a reporter from a Mobile newspaper says he forwarded Martin $4,500.

The money supposedly came from an insurance executive in Mobile - Diane Sanford, who wrote two checks to the reporter - Wayne Rowe. Rowe allegedly then cashed the checks and wired the money to Martin in Knoxville.

An investigator for the Southeastern Conference interviewed the reporter, who says Diane Sanford called him three years ago and told him Martin needed money to pay for car problems he was having. Rowe says he had no reason to believe Sanford was a Tennessee booster..

Tennessee Athletic Director Doug Dickey says he investigated the allegations in the fall of 1999 and found nothing to substantiate the allegation.  Dickey says he's now waiting for the SEC to complete its investigation. The SEC will turn over its findings to the NCAA. The $4,500 payments, if proven, would be a NCAA violation - if they came from someone representing Tennessee. Sanford is reportedly an avid Tennessee fan.