NCAA News Brief
The NCAA Committee on Infractions released its latest infraction report October 8, and it dealt with recruiting violations at the University of Colorado in the football program. The committee and the enforcement staff sent important messages to member schools about paying attention to the “little rules.”
At the heart of the case was the former head coach, who sent a message to his assistants that they needed to “push the limits of recruiting legislation and be “creative” when it came to recruiting practices.” The former head coach made the following statement to the committee during its hearing with Colorado personnel:
“Was I trying to be creative? Yes…Was I our there trying to win favor, and so forth? There is no question. Nearly all of these issues could have been avoided had I checked, and more importantly, probably double-checked with the compliance officer at the University of Colorado.”
The violations would have been considered secondary, but because there was a pattern that prevailed for over four years, the secondary violations became major. Throughout the 33-page report, the committee cited very simple recruiting rules that were not observed by members of the coaching staff, prompted mostly by the former head coach’s insistence that his staff be creative. The staff took advantage of the “bumping” rule – it’s a common practice that allows coaches to be civil to prospects and parents when it is not permissible to talk to them. In an evaluation period, football and basketball coaches can’t talk to prospects or their parents – during contact periods coaches can’t talk to prospects that are not yet in their senior year – but NCAA rules have allowed coaches to be civil and to say “hello.” The Colorado coaches exceeded courtesy – they would engage prospects in detailed conversations.
Coaches also would be “creative” in other ways – all outside parameters of the recruiting legislation. The institution was cited for failing to monitor the football staff, and the penalties affect the financial aid that Colorado will give for the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons. Official visits have been reduced as well. The former head coach? He can’t recruit off-campus at his present school until the end of 2003. The school has been required to report on how they will monitor and educate the coach through 2004. No question the penalties for Colorado far exceed those placed on the former head coach. The message sent in the Kentucky case is sent again in this one – schools will be held responsible for monitoring coaches and athletics department staff members. If you do not monitor and make sure everyone is on boars – it will be painful.
Clemson’s president and athletics director constantly remind our donors, our coaches, student-athletes and staff members – Clemson will win and win within the rules. Clemson is intent on building and sustaining teams that will win ACC and NCAA championships – and we are committed to winning those championships in compliance with NCAA rules.
By the way – those 26 recruits that Colorado signed during the period of the violations? Overall record since? 33-28 and a major infraction.
If you have questions go to our website, www.clemsontigers.com and click on compliance or call at 864-656-1580.
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