Alabama’s Secondary Rule Violations

Alabama has reported 3 secondary recruiting violations, as reported by Ian Rapoport. Paul Gattis talks about it as well. These violations span from December 2006 to January 2007. Saban claims that he did not know about the violation involving the book gift by a booster. Additionally, the baseball team; men’s track and field team; women’s track and field team; women’s tennis team; and swimming and diving team committed one violation each. Check out the rule violation procedure page.

While these make for great chat room fodder, they don’t add up to much. You don’t want to have a considerable amount of secondary violations add up. However, having a few a year really seems to go without any serious punishment from the NCAA.

In the world of fandom, there are people who view any violation by a rival institution as the worst of the worst. They live in a fairytale world where they are the good guys, and the rivals are the bad guys. Even when their school is accused of improprieties, they naturally assume that either: (A)there is a media bias, or (B) the rival school is out to get them. There are plenty of what I call “kool-aid fans” in both the Alabama and Auburn fan bases, since they drink the hometown kool-aid.

In reality, many schools commit violations every year. Most of the SEC schools are guilty of secondary violations. Those who spend their time trying to search and prove “cheating” by another school are ultimately left craving for more. Their hope for days past (Examples: a guy named Bobby wishing it was 2001 again for Alabama or a guy named Shane watches every little move a simple Auburn pastor makes) causes them to constantly search for even the slightest form of cheating. This causes them to become, well….. complete and total losers.

If certain fans want to gripe about Alabama ‘getting away’ with something, I say let them since it doesn’t mean anything. There is a considerable amount of proof that many other schools have turned themselves in for secondary violations and have not faced any considerable NCAA punishment. If you want to have one school punished, you need to include EVERY school that has broken rules that are similar (including your school too). In the end they’ll learn to shut up.

Let’s take a look at a few of the secondary violations committed by other schools (some may not be listed, but I will provide links to documents from the schools admitting to secondary violations):


LSU Faculty Senate meeting minutes– 2005 (Check out page 5) To be fair, Saban is probably connected to some of the violations:

2.i. 50 secondary violations of NCAA rules per year: Professor Carpenter said that LSU
makes reports of approximately 50 secondary violations per year that we submit to the SEC and
then to NCAA. For the last couple of years, they have all been secondary; none have alarmed him.

LSU stops Yoglates for football players– 2006:

The Tigers canceled the trendy conditioning program two weeks ago because it conflicted with the rules governing athletic consultants not affiliated with the university. Non-LSU personnel are allowed to instruct athletes during the fall and spring semesters, but not during the summer, according to NCAA rules.


Football recruit goes to basketball game with a booster– 2006 (scroll down some to see it):

University of Tennessee football signee Jacques McClendon broke an NCAA rule — he says inadvertently — when he and his mother attended a Lady Vols basketball game as guests of a booster. UT Athletic department officials were preparing to report the matter to the Southeastern Conference as a secondary violation.

McClendon, a star offensive lineman from Baylor School in Chattanooga, sat in the front row in courtside seats assigned to boosters who have contributed at least $40,000 a year.


Other than the one listed above, we all remember this one about improper contact (2007):

The Miami Herald and reported that three south Florida junior prospects described conversations with Saban during his recruiting trip last week that might have exceeded NCAA rules limiting face-to-face contact with recruits to “exchange of a greeting” between April 15 and May 31. Coaches are allowed to evaluate high school players at their schools during that period.


Fan web postings labeled NCAA basketball violations– 2006:

Some fans posted pro-Kentucky messages on the website of Patrick “Beans” Patterson, a 6-foot-8, 217-pound senior at Huntington (W.Va.) High School.

Some of the postings reportedly were sexually enticing. One featured a photo of the Kentucky dance team; another showed super fan Ashley Judd.

Accompanying text implied that a sexual wonderland awaits a top Kentucky basketball player.


Auburn University Faculty Senate meeting minutes-2001:

In the area of compliance, since the infamous Eric Ramsey case around 1993 when we had a major violation in the Athletics Department, I am pleased to say that we really have acculturated compliance. I don’t know of a single time when a student-athlete or the Board of Trustees did not comply with the NCAA rules and regulations. We have not had any major violations since that time; those are catastrophic in nature and I think everyone agrees that we should avoid those at all costs.

We do have a number of secondary violations. A secondary violation is when you inadvertently violate some rule (the NCAA handbook is extremely thick and contains many, many rules, some hard to understand). We inadvertently violate those, self-report them, suggest some punishment that the SEC and NCAA agrees with, and move on. We have had about eight of those per year. In the last reporting cycle from the SEC we had about five, which is not from a full-year; the range in the conference was from three-to-seven. This is about where we want to be.

South Carolina

S. Carolina violations (June 2007):

The university reported on Jan. 29 that the football coaching staff had contact with a prospective athlete on a competition day in another sport. Then on March 7 South Carolina said its football staff contacted a prospect, “outside of the permissible contact period.”

Another violation, reported in April, concerned the use of a picture of a current athlete in a football camp brochure, also against NCAA rules.

Last semester, the school also reported three secondary violations involving the football program – one of which dealt with longtime practice of football coach Steve Spurrier’s wife sending her good wishes to prospects who had signed with her husband’s teams.

Another from 2005 (It has a link, but the paper obviously deleted it. Hack may correct me on this one):

The South Carolina Gamecocks self-reported a secondary violation involving Steve Spurrier Jr. and high school prospect Jimmy Clausen. A Thursday piece on Outside the Lines on ESPN resulted in South Carolina filing the report. ESPN reported that the Gamecocks, along with Southern California and Michigan State, mailed letters to Clausen, brother of former Tennessee QB Casey Clausen and current Vols’ QB Rick Clausen, prior to the allowed date of September 1 for teams to contact high school juniors.

Spurrier Jr. mailed the note in mid-July after thinking July 1 was the date such correspondence was allowed. The report also indicated that Jimmy Clausen was the first junior he had ever recruited. Gamecock AD Eric Hyman has given Spurrier Jr. a letter of caution and stopped him from being involved in the recruitment of Claussen for 6 weeks (through October 12.)

Ole Miss

The Deuce is loose (2006):

The violations were during a two-month span, according to documents obtained Wednesday by The Clarion-Ledger. They took place between Oct. 30 and Dec. 3 and involved eight members of Mississippi’s 2006 signing class.

The most notable occurred on Dec. 2, when McAllister, the New Orleans Saints running back, attended the Class 5A playoff game between Oak Grove and Meridian as the guest of Meridian assistant principal Sherrod Miller.

In a report to the Southeastern Conference and NCAA, Ole Miss said McAllister made impermissible contact with Meridian players during the game.

Southern Cal (The Fighting Carrollers)

Don’t even get me started on the stuff Pete Carroll has been acussed of doing. Bruins Nation has a very good list. The most recent has to do with Joe McKnight having a conference call with Reggie Bush. Another recruit was given a ride in a limo.


Seven secondary rules violated (2007):

The most interesting violation came on Sept. 19, when it was reported a student-athlete’s brother received transportation, lodging and meals from a booster while attending a road game. The student-athlete was briefly declared ineligible, and after eligibility was restored by the NCAA, the athlete was required to attend rules education meetings with compliance officials before completing a form to give out complimentary tickets to family and friends.

Another Level I secondary violation occurred when a sport awarded .12 scholarships more than it was allowed to. A compliance official discovered the error, which happened when the head coach believed that aid for a senior graduating in December wouldn’t count against spring semester scholarship totals.

The coach was given a letter of reprimand and told to review the NCAA legislation on the matter, and the team was stripped of twice the oversight (.24 of a scholarship) for the 2007-08 academic year.

Three other violations dealt with illegal use of correspondence to recruits. In one case, a coach mistakenly sent a recruiting letter to a sophomore who was thought to be a junior. The prospect’s parent informed Clemson of the error, and the coach received a letter of admonishment with a warning that future mistakes will result in recruiting restrictions.

There are too many to list, but I think this gives you a very good idea of what we’re dealing with here. If you want to accuse one school of major cheating, that’s fine. But don’t start whining when it is your turn to be accused (let’s face it, you know they’ll turn your school in for something in order to get payback).

As long as this is it, I’m not really that upset over this stuff. I hate to see it happen, but I know that sometimes (but not all the time) these things just happen. If major violations are accuring, then they need to be dealt with. 2001 was painful, but we were guilty of it and deserved probation.

Have a great weekend!


4 Responses to “Alabama’s Secondary Rule Violations”

  1. WesCrimson Says:

    Well I was encouraged by the Alabama booster giving a book to a prospect.

    But this too has to stop, next the prospects will want classical music CD’s.

  2. TideDruid Says:

    Hey now, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 rocks.

  3. Lane Kiffin getting more mileage out of fewer secondary violations | Says:

    […] last ten did not originate with a Michigan blog but a Columbus, Ohio newspaper. And it appears that LSU reports about 50 per year, although the link to the original source is mysteriously […]

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