South Carolina announces former assistant responsible for recruiting violations, NCAA hands down punishment
A former South Carolina assistant football coach violated NCAA recruiting contact and communication rules, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions.
The NCAA said the unnamed former assistant coach, the school and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed about an “impermissible communication” with a “highly rated high school sophomore prospect” after the player visited campus. The day after the visit, the former assistant sent a text that broke NCAA rules.
The details include that it happened on the weekend of January 27, 2018, when the player and his mother took an unofficial visit for South Carolina’s Junior Day event. Even though the prospect was a sophomore at the time, his attendance at the Junior Day event was a permissible unofficial visit.
On May 14, 2018, the assistant coach sent 3 impermissible text messages to let the player know that he would be at the prospect’s high school the following day and would like to meet him. On May 15, 2018, the assistant coach sent additional text messages to confirm a meeting in-person contact.
The prospect and the assistant coach later met for about 10 to 15 minutes in the athletics facilities at the player’s high school. They spoke about the prospect’s height and weight as well as when he might return to South Carolina for another visit. After this impermissible in-person contact with the sophomore prospect, the assistant coach met separately with the head football coach at the high school.
The visit was logged in South Carolina’s compliance software as an evaluation visit to the high school.
After the assistant coach’s visit to the prospect’s high school, the player verbally committed to another program in June 2018 while at that school’s summer football camp. The assistant coach sent 2 more impermissible text messages on June 5 and 6, 2018, in which he asked about the prospect’s decision to commit to the other institution and to wish him good luck.
Here are the penalties for the infractions:
- A $10,000 fine.
- A prohibition of off-campus football recruiting activity during the first two weeks of the spring 2019 evaluation period and the first four weeks of the fall 2019 evaluation period.
- A reduction of football evaluation days by 12 for the 2018-19 academic year.
- A restriction on all telephone and text communications with football prospects for two weeks beginning Sept. 1, 2019.
- The head football coach may have only off-campus contact with 10 prospects during the fall 2019 contact period.
- One year of probation.
- One-on-one rules education for the head coach regarding NCAA contact and evaluation rules, completed in May 2019.
- The university ended the recruitment of the prospect.
- A one-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. During that period, the former assistant coach must be suspended for one game during the fall of 2019 and must be prohibited from all off-campus recruiting activity during the fall 2019 recruiting period.