Recruitment violations occurred in the LSU football program

The LSU football program violated enlistment rules when a former assistant coach and former assistant director of enlistment separately met with a prospect during the COVID-19 enlistment period and provided the prospect with impermissible enlistment temptations, according to a decision by the Division I panel’s offences board.

In March 2020, the NCAA Division I Board adopted emergency rules defining a temporary enlistment period intended to protect the health and safety of prospects, student-athletes, and university staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While the dying period prevented personal enlistment contacts, including formal and informal visits, it did not prevent prospects and their families from arranging unofficial visits to campus.

In September 2020, the mother of a potential football player arranged an unofficial visit to the LSU campus for 14 teams. The football coaching staff was aware that a large group of prospects planned to visit the campus, and the day before the prospects arrived, the school’s compliance staff met with football staff – including a former assistant coach and former assistant hiring manager – to review the National League’s recruitment rules for college sports, assuring that employees cannot have any personal contact with recruits. The mother of one would-be had planned to move to Baton Rouge if her son attended LSU and asked for recommendations for potential neighborhoods to visit. The former assistant coach recommended several neighborhoods including his own, gave directions to his neighborhood, and arranged to greet the potential client and his family as they drove through the neighborhood, in violation of death-period rules. During that confrontation with the prospect and his family, the assistant coach also provided the prospect with a bag of used LSU gear he had collected from his home before he left, in violation of NCAA rules prohibiting enlistment temptations.

The following weekend, the prospect and his family returned to the LSU campus for a pre-planned trip. During this second visit, a former assistant recruiting manager picked up the potential client and his girlfriend from the hotel and drove them to the stadium for a tour, violating the NCAA rules for in-person contact during a dead period and also violating the coaches’ numbered rules. Due to off-campus recruitment contact by an untrained employee. The free transportation to campus also violated NCAA rules prohibiting enlistment temptations. Later that day or the following day, the former assistant hiring manager returned to the prospect’s hotel and handed over several items of used LSU equipment to the prospect, once again violating NCAA rules prohibiting enlistment temptations.

During that second trip to Baton Rouge, he drove the prospect and his family back through the former assistant coach’s neighborhood. The assistant coach was in touch with the potential client’s mother when they approached and stood outside his house to meet with the family for a short chat—another violation of the NCAA rules for personal contact during a dead period. Both the assistant coach and the assistant recruiting manager acknowledged that they knew their behavior was not permitted.

“although [committee] “The violations in this case represent more egregious behavior in previous cases, and represent willful misconduct that should be of concern to members,” the committee said in its decision. of student-athletes and institutional staff. It also leveled the playing field at a time when the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government varied across the country.”

The commission also considered a level three allegation that the former soccer coach violated NCAA recruiting rules when he had off-campus contact with two prospectives prior to the pandemic. Specifically, the former head coach was in a high school during a specific evaluation period when he got close to both of them. He shook hands with them in a short greeting and said he was happy to see them but could not speak to them again. In the end, the committee concluded that the offense did not occur because the brief exchange did not go beyond the salutation.

The commission categorized the case as Level II – attenuated for university, Level II – exacerbated for the former Assistant Director and Level Two – for the former Assistant Director of Enlistment. The Committee used the guidelines for penalties for violations approved by the membership of the first section to describe the following procedures:

  • One year on probation.
  • $5,000 fine (self-imposed).
  • Limit the number of official football visits to 55 during the 2022-23 school year (self-imposed).
  • One-week ban on unofficial visits in the football program before the start of the 2022-23 school year (optional).
  • A one-week ban on recruiting contacts into the football program before the start of the 2022-23 school year (self-imposed).
  • Reduction of seven assessment days in the football program during the assessment period for Fall 2021 (self-imposed).
  • A three-year review order for the former assistant coach. During that period, any NCAA member school that employs him must restrict him from any off-campus recruiting activities unless it shows a reason why the restrictions do not apply.

Members of the Offenses Committee are drawn from NCAA members and members of the public. The members of the committee who reviewed this case were William Buck III, attorney in private practice; Stephen Madva, attorney in private practice; Joe Novak, former Northern Illinois football coach; Dave Roberts, Chief Hearing Officer for the Commission and Special Counsel for Southern California; and Mary Schouten, former executive vice president and vice president of Central Michigan.

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