A Secondary Recruiting Violation Could Mean Suspension

January 19, 2011

Last season, Coach Mark Richt committed a minor secondary recruiting violation. With new NCAA bylaws in place, coaches can now be suspended for such violations.

With football recruiting in full swing, coaches better freshen up on the NCAA’s strict and complicated set of bylaws regarding what you can and cannot do. The minutiae of compliance rules is so ridiculous and impossible to follow that it’s no wonder coaches from virtually every program inadvertently flirt with some sort of secondary violation.

To give you an example, last year Mark Richt inadvertently called a potential recruit when he accidentally dialed the wrong number on his cell phone. As a result, he called a high school recruit, CJ Curry, in violation of the NCAA bylaws because the call was made prior to September 1 of Curry’s senior year.

Here is an account of the story:

On Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 . . .  Coach Richt was on a call with a another prospective student-athlete (PSA) when he missed a call from a senior PSA’s mother (Mr. Sterling Bailey from East Hall High School in Georgia). The mother’s cell phone had a 678 area code. While he was checking the voicemail left by Ms. Bailey, Coach Richt missed another call from a 678 area code. After he listened to Ms. Bailey’s message, Coach Richt hit the send button for what he thought was Ms. Bailey. When a male’s voice answered the phone, Coach Richt was surprised and asked if it was Sterling, thinking he was calling Ms. Bailey and [her son] answered; however, the person answering the phone told him he had the wrong number. When Coach asked who it was, the individual said it was C.J. Curry (a junior PSA from North Hall High School in Georgia). Once Coach Richt realized who it was, he ended the call and self-reported the violation to the Compliance Office.

As a result of this secondary violation and self-reporting, Richt was banned from contacting recruits for one week last September. The NCAA agreed that the school imposed penalty was fair and did not take further action. However, coaches must beware because the NCAA has now enacted new bylaws that specifically state the NCAA can suspend coaches who commit secondary violations.

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