Ok, you can place this squarely in the “You have got to be effing kidding me” files.
Ohio State today released information regarding 46 secondary NCAA violations across all of their athletic programs. Doug Lesmerises has the full scoop.
After a year and a half of “Oh NOES!!!!”, I actually appreciate this news for two reasons. First, it shows that the University continues to self monitor and self report even the most minor issues (see next point). This isn’t a program gone “rogue”, but one that’s trying to navigate as best as possible within the labyrinthine regulations of the No Clue At All.
Which brings me to the second point- These violations continue to prove how out of touch and often petty the NCAA can be. While certain entities are arguing for billion dollar playoffs coordinated by corrupt bowl “non-profits” with questionable benefits to the actual participants, the following are found to be against the rules (again, from Doug’s article):
- Football coach Urban Meyer said “Good luck,” to recruit Noah Spence before his state championship game in Pennsylvania in December. Contact like that with Spence, on his game day, is forbidden.
- Athletic director Gene Smith and alumni association CEO Archie Griffin recorded a personalized video for football recruit Ezekiel Elliott for his official campus visit on March 31. Recruiting videos are forbidden.
- Assistant football coach Mike Vrabel used smokeless tobacco on the sidelines during games, which was reported to Ohio State anonymously by an area health teacher. NCAA rules forbid tobacco use during games or practices.
- Greg Paulus, the basketball team’s video coordinator, was reported to be coaching players during the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Tournament semifinal win over Michigan on March 10. Video coordinators, who aren’t full assistants, may not coach players. The violation was discovered after a general conversation between an OSU player’s parent and an assistant athletic director.
- Last August, quality control football staffer Kirk Barton, a former OSU offensive lineman, created and ordered 20 “JT” bracelets for $5 each online to honor former coach Jim Tressel. He intended them for friends and family, but several players asked Barton about the bracelets. He sold seven players the bracelets for $15, charging that amount in an attempt to make sure no violation was committed, knowing that giving them out for free would be an NCAA violation. But selling them still was deemed a violation because players had access to something not available to the general public. The players returned the bracelets.
- Assistant coach Stan Drayton last July accidentally sent a text message to a recruit when he meant to send an email. Emails were permissible. Text messages were not.
- On Aug. 20, assistant coach Dick Tressel responded to a text message from the parents of recruit Warren Ball asking which gate to use to enter Ohio Stadium for a scrimmage. Texting the parents of a recruit was a violation.
- In December of 2010, five current football players took five recruits on OSU visits to a movie. NCAA rules allow each recruit $60 in spending money for entertainment. A cab ride to the movie put each recruit between $1 and $5 over budget, which the football players paid out of pocket. That was not allowed because the $60 limit was exceeded.
- The school realized that during three days of the football team’s Rose Bowl trip from Dec. 26, 2009, to Jan. 2, 2010, the players received both a $15 per diem and breakfast. That pushed them over the allowable three meals of $45 per diem.
While the Gene Smith one makes me particularly perplexed (in part because I can’t figure out what his job is, exactly), and I understand the importance of a program under the microscope to be above reproach… I still have to look at this and shake my head. This is what passes for compliance with an organization that has from the beginning often worked in opposition to the educational mission of member institutions and lack of regard for their key stakeholders.
And so, for the second time in a week I find myself referring to Scripture, this time from the twenty third chapter of the book of Matthew-
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Woe to you, teachers of the law… you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence… First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.