NCAA approves Iowa State's self-imposed punishments

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Iowa State will endure a two-year probation, a reduction on recruiting phone calls and a diminution of official visits. The NCAA and its Committee on Infractions made the announcement late Friday.

The punishments stem from a self-reported violations within the department that ISU brought to the NCAA in April. At the time Iowa State labeled the infractions as "major" and hoped its self-enforced punishments -- such as the probation set at two years and a reduction in official visits -- would be enough to keep the NCAA from coming down harder. Generally speaking, the NCAA put a few more dings into the Cyclones' punishment by limiting its telephone calls to recruits.

The NCAA was not clear, or failed to specifically mention, if there is a limit on text-messaging recruits amid the probation period. Here's why that's interesting. The violations in question? Coincidentally, mostly phone calls and text messages that exceeded limits on regulations that used to be enforced by the NCAA. In 2012 the NCAA eliminated its threshold on contact between college basketball coaches and recruits once they completed their sophomore year of high school. Two assistants involved in the violations at Iowa State have since left the school.

Officially, it's cited as a failure-to-monitor for Iowa State, a verdict it reached itself and submitted to the NCAA.

"Over a three-year period, athletics department staff members placed more than 1,400 impermissible recruiting calls to nearly 400 prospects," the NCAA said in its report. "Additionally, a former student men's basketball coach sent 160 impermissible text messages to prospects and also placed impermissible recruiting telephone calls."

At the crux of the problem was a failure to correctly log recruiting contact/attempts made by coaches. Again, this is no longer a problem, but the rules were violated/ignored during the time of different legislation, so punishment was enacted here.

"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," according to the NCAA. "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."

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