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Iowa State commits recruiting violations

As a result of self-discovered and self-report of recruiting violations in all Iowa State University sports, the Division I Committee on Infractions concluded that the university failed to monitor its athletics program. Over a three-year period, athletics department staff members placed more than 1,400 impermissible recruiting calls to nearly 400 prospects. Additionally, a former student men’s basketball coach sent 160 impermissible text messages to prospects and also placed impermissible recruiting telephone calls.

 Penalties in this case, the majority of which were self-imposed by the university, include a two-year probation period, a reduction in official paid visits and restrictions on recruiting-related telephone calls.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and involved individuals must agree to use the summary disposition process instead of having a formal hearing.

In August 2008, the university began requiring coaches to use a computer-based compliance program for tracking contacts with prospects. Coaches or staff members were supposed to input their telephone contacts with prospects and provide the reports to compliance. The compliance office did not ensure that each sports program was audited every year, and little, if any cross-checking of logs and telephone records was conducted. Further, there was never any direction to give special attention to any particular sport program during certain high recruiting periods. Many coaches interviewed reported that they neither knew, nor were they ever told by compliance, that it was necessary for them to log all telephone calls placed to prospects, including calls where no contact was made or where a voicemail was left. Because of this, impermissible calls were made in all 18 of the university’s athletics program and the committee concluded the university failed to monitor its athletics program.

Finally, a men’s non-coaching staff member provided skill instruction to several girls prospects and a women’s non-coaching staff member served as an assistant coach and participated in coaching activities for a boys’ nonscholastic team. The committee and the university ultimately agreed these violations were secondary in nature.

Penalties and measures for the university include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.

  • Two years of probation from September 6, 2013 through September 5, 2015. (proposed by the university and adopted by the committee).

  • A reduction in official visits by 20 percent from the previous four-year average for the 2011-12 academic year for the football and men’s basketball programs (self-imposed by the university).

  • A reduction in the number of permissible off-campus recruiters by two for the spring 2012 football evaluation period (self-imposed by the university).

  • A reduction of the number of recruiting opportunities by one for all men’s basketball, men’s track and cross country and women’s track and cross country prospects during the 2011-12 academic year (self-imposed by the university).

  • The university stopped recruiting all prospects with whom the men’s basketball student assistant coach had impermissible telephone or text contact (self-imposed by the university).

  • Restrictions from initiating telephone contact with prospects for the following teams: football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s golf, women’s swimming and diving, women’s soccer, softball, tennis, men’s and women’s track and cross country, women’s volleyball and wresting. The public report further details the timing of the restrictions by team.

The members of the Division I Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Britton Banowsky, chair of the Committee on Infractions and commissioner of Conference USA; John Black, attorney; Greg Christopher, athletics director at Xavier University; Christopher L. Griffin, coordinator of appeals and attorney;; Roscoe Howard Jr., attorney; James O’Fallon, law professor and faculty athletics representative at the University of Oregon; and Greg Sankey executive associate commissioner and chief operating officer for the Southeastern Conference.

Issuing NCAA Office(s):