Any football player will tell you about the sacrifices they make for the game they love-- whether it's their health, their time, or their money. For Maurice Couch, his sacrifice was his family.
"I was in a really desperate situation, where like I couldn't take care of my family and I was going to lose my family," Couch said.
The UT senior is also a husband and a father. He said his financial situation was so bad, his wife and daughter were about to move back home to Kansas.
"My wife had all the resource back home, like we don't have any family members in Knoxville, so it's just me and her."
The added family expenses drove Couch to take money from an agent.
"Before I did what I did, I pretty much took advantage of all my resources, but nothing came through to help, so as a father I had to do what I had to do first."
In total, he received $1,350. That wasn't a lot of money compared to what it ended up costing him.
In September the NCAA launched an investigation into the improper benefits. Couch was ruled ineligible, and he hasn't played football since.
"It's weird just being home watching my teammates play, and I'm not out there, but I say like my wife and Coach Butch, they helped me out through the entire process.
As far as graduation, that's what kept me very positive. I'm the first on both sides of my family to go to a major university and to graduate from school. It means a lot to me and it was something I definitely wanted to do before I leave."
Couch hopes the decision won't end up costing him his entire career. This weekend, after graduating, he is moving to Houston to start training for the NFL draft. He has one parting message for the NCAA: Open its eyes to sacrifices it profits from.
"They make billions of dollars off of us, and we only get a couple hundred dollars a month. That's nothing compared to what they get. I just think it's unfair, it's an unfair deal."