The SEC's wackiest NCAA violations in recent history
The NCAA has been anything but logical and consistent in its reign over college athletics in recent history.
We were reminded of the NCAA’s bizarre rules and its propensity to enforce them on Monday when a report surfaced claiming a Southeast Missouri State assistant women’s basketball coach was cited for multiple rules violations, one involving a Netflix account.
The assistant coach in question allegedly provided free access to a paid Netflix account for a potential recruit. That’s right, a coach shared a Netflix password with a prospect, and the NCAA was none too pleased.
You may be wondering, what do Southeast Missouri State women’s basketball or a Netflix account have to do with SEC football? The answer is very little. But SEMO’s recent violation did get us thinking about some of the wackiest NCAA violations to affect the SEC in recent years.
Excluding Missouri and Texas A&M, which have only been SEC members for three years, 11 of 12 SEC programs have been under NCAA probation in the last 20 years. Vanderbilt is the lone exception. The NCAA enforces what it wants to enforce whenever it wants to enforce it, and if the following retellings of various violations don’t convince you the system is flawed, I’m not sure what will.
One of the more recent SEC violations has been referred to as “sticker-gate.” The Mississippi State football program policed itself and reported 10 violations following the 2013-14 academic year. Among those violations was one regarding a sticker sealing a packet of information prior to a Junior Day event on MSU’s campus.
The event is aimed to attract interest from some of the top rising juniors in high school football. Mississippi State sent the packet of information to the juniors invited to last summer’s Junior Day, and while the contents of those packets were legal the sticker sealing the packet was not. The seal read “Elite Junior Day 2014 Official Invite,” which constituted a violation.
Make of that what you will.
South Carolina managed to top “sticker-gate” with a violation involving the icing on a cookie cake provided to a recruit. You read that correctly. South Carolina provided cookie cakes for prospects, a delicious way to show your interest in a prep star, and were punished not for the cakes themselves but for the icing atop those cakes.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the infraction was due to “impermissible iced decorations.” Again, make of that what you will.
Earlier this season, Georgia tailback Todd Gurley was suspended four games for receiving illegal benefits in return for close to 80 autographed items. Whether you think it’s fair to keep an athlete from earning money off his name and likeness, it was no secret the NCAA would consider such an action a violation. Former Alabama defensive back HaHa Clinton-Dix was also suspended two games last season for receiving impermissible benefits from a staff member.
But a Netflix password, a sticker and some cake icing? It seems as though the NCAA is going out of its way to enforce those archaic rules. If we’ve learned anything from this exercise, it’s high school prospects shouldn’t do anything, ever, for any reason or under any circumstance. Just breathe oxygen and play ball for no pay. That’s all.
Anything more might be an NCAA violation.