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Former Appalachian State assistant football coach sent impermissible texts

Download the 2016 Appalachian State Public Infractions Decision

A former Appalachian State University assistant football coach sent 416 impermissible texts to a prospect’s mother, contrary to NCAA rules at the time, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort during which 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 the facts and overall level of the case to use this process instead of a formal hearing.

The panel noted that the former assistant coach knew that he could not have a text message conversation with prospects and their parents. Shortly after the prospect made an unofficial visit on the campus, the former assistant coach cautioned the mother that they were not supposed to text, but said it was fine if no one knew about the communication. The text messaging continued for the next four months.

The communication was undetected by the university because the football program did not designate the prospect as a recruit, so the monitoring software did not recognize the texts as inappropriate.

 Penalties prescribed for the university by the panel include the following:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach from Dec. 2, 2016, through Dec. 1, 2017. During that time, any NCAA member school that hires him in an athletically related position must restrict him from all recruiting activities until Aug. 31, 2017, and hold monthly one-one-one compliance sessions that focus on recruiting rules. Additionally, the panel recognized the current restrictions placed on the former assistant coach by his current school during the fall of 2016, including: monthly one-on-one compliance sessions that focus on recruiting rules; a withholding from all recruiting activity from Sept. 1 through Nov. 26, 2016; and a withholding from all recruiting communication from Sept. 1 through Sept. 14, 2016. He will also attend a 2017 Regional Rules Seminar.
  • A $5,000 fine.

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are Michael F. Adams, chancellor, Pepperdine University; Carol Cartwright, president emeritus at Kent State University; Gregory Christopher, athletics director at Xavier University; Alberto Gonzales, dean of the law school at Belmont University and former attorney general of the United States; Joseph Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; and Gregory Sankey, chief hearing officer for this panel, chair of the Committee on Infractions and commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.