Texts, treats and the NCAA

Texts, treats and the NCAA

Up until now, the most trouble the suspended URBAN MEYER had found himself in at Ohio State involved a thank-you text to a Buckeyes football recruit.

That's an NCAA no-no — and was among several secondary violations Big Ten schools self-reported in 2017-18 to college athletics' governing body, The News-Gazette found in correspondence obtained via open-records requests.

None are of the gravity of the charges Meyer faces, but they show that abiding by the NCAA's many rules is no easy task.

OHIO STATE

Violation: On June 20, 2017, Meyer and assistant Tony Alford received 80-plus texts wishing them a happy Father's Day. While responding, both coaches "accidentally" replied to a recruit in the high school Class of 2019, who under NCAA rules was too young to contact.

Resolution: Buckeyes coaches were prohibited from contacting that recruit until two weeks after other programs were allowed to. It was the same outcome for another secondary violation a month later, when Buckeyes assistant coach Kevin Wilson "inadvertently" quoted a recruit's tweet when he meant to post, "It's a great day to be a Buckeye."

ILLINOIS

Violation: While hosting a recruit for a visit last November, the UI provided "an impermissible meal and snack" (valued at $9.50) at no charge to a family member. The NCAA allows schools to treat up to four family members per official campus visit; confusion arose at the recruiting check-in desk when another female family member (whose relation was redacted) unexpectedly joined the party.

Resolution: The UI declared the unknown player ineligible, and he signed elsewhere. UI football's recruiting coordinator received a "letter of admonishment" from athletic director Josh Whitman.

IOWA

Violation: An athletics marketing staffer OK'd a social-media graphic containing the image of a current Hawkeye athlete to be sent to a commercial business. "In turn," Iowa reported, the company "used the image in promotion of their business."

Resolution: The NCAA declined to punish Iowa beyond what it implemented itself — removal of the image on social media, rules=education training for marketing staff and an official letter of reprimand.