Blog Entry

Secondary violations and Kiffin

Posted on: June 9, 2009 8:38 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2009 11:10 pm
 

Lane Kiffin is at it again. This time with what could be secondary violation No. 6.

You've no doubt heard that Kiffin might have broken NCAA rules by allowing a recruit to filmed in his office by a cable network. The question that popped into my mind was, when do enough secondary violations equal a major violation.

Short answer: It's complicated. Complicated answer: It's really complicated which is why so many coaches are willing to push the envelope when it comes to recruiting.

"There isn't a magic number," said one Division I-A compliance director, "but if you're violating the same rule more than once on different occassions, that's a problem."

Secondary violations are minor infractions that are sometimes inadvertent. Complicating matters further is the severity of those minor violations. The NCAA breaks them down by Level 1 and Level 2 violations. Level 1 is more serious and involves intentional violations as well as similar violations in the same sport.

Sound familiar, Tennessee?

All Level 1 violations are reported directly to the NCAA. The less serious Level 2 violations are reported to the conference. Those Level 2s must be filed with the NCAA en masse once a year.

The compliance director suggested that if the NCAA deems the infraction serious enough the recruit who appeared with Kiffin on TV could be ruled ineligible to attend the school. Tennessee then would have to seek reinstatement to keep recruiting the kid. 

"I really believe the majority of violations out there are unintentional," the director said. 

Auburn recently had the idea of traveling around the state in limos to impress recruits. Completely legal. However, the football program might have broken rules recently during a so-called Big Cat Weekend. Recruits were allowed to "roll" Toomer's Corner with toilet paper, a longtime tradition after big Auburn victories. Fans, police, media, even the mascot were present.

That could be a secondary violation -- several of them -- because it simulates a game-day setting. Yeah, I know, toilet paper and trees don't conjure up game day but that's exactly what it is at Auburn.

I found out firsthand what these secondary violations mean to some coaches. New Mexico coach Mike Locksley allowed me to sit in on a staff meeting the day before signing day this year.  Commanding the meeting, Locksley impressed upon his staff that he wanted to lead the Mountain West in self-reporting violations.

A minor controversy erupted at New Mexico when I published what Locksley told his staff, " "It's OK to make a mistake -- secondary violations, We want to lead the conference in them." There was laughter in the room but the point had been made. It's not the number of secondary violations that necessarily matter. It's about being forthcoming with the NCAA.

They were nervous at New Mexico when the quote came out because the program already is on probation from wrongdoing during the previous coaching regime. But Locksley showed me in that meeting he knew more about NCAA rules than anyone in the room. The 39-year-old coach, a tireless recruiter, was also well aware of his reputation in some coaching circles as a guy who pushes the edges of the NCAA Manual.

"As coaches it's almost a compliment," Locksley told me. "It's almost like having a beautiful girlfriend or wife and people are staring at her. If you're a good recruiter, people are going to accuse you of cheating."

So how beautiful a girlfriend do you want to date? In a recent Columbus Dispatch investigation, the newspaper found that Ohio State had reported an incredible 375 violations since 2000. That's the most of any of the 69 Division I-A schools who responded to the paper's Freedom of Information requests.

That number is tempered with the fact that Ohio State sponsors the most sports in the country, 36.

Rick Neuheisel had a part in more than 50 secondary recruiting violations while at Colorado.  Neuheisel, then at Washington, was prohibited from recruiting off campus for a time. His former school was placed on probation, docked scholarship and had off-campus recruiting limited.

To say some of these secondary violations are unintentional is a bit misleading. In fact, a lot misleading. If compliance directors don't know this stuff is going on they should. If they don't tell the coach to knock it off, they should lose their jobs. Of course, at a lot of schools when the head coach doesn't want compliance to know something it isn't known.

Schools have proven that the slap on the wrist they receive is worth it. If Kiffin wants attention for his program, he certainly has it. One of the violations reportedly had to do with a fake press conference set up to impress nine recruits. A fog machine was reportedly used in January, simulating pre-game introductions.

Taking all that into account, six secondary violations don't seem to be that many. I'm no expert but it seems Kiffin will get both his attention and a sore wrist.

Guess which one he cares about?

Comments

Since: Apr 4, 2009
Posted on: June 10, 2009 10:48 pm
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

Auchap,
     You must be the typical Auburn just jealous of Alabama. Remember you and your team will always be second in the state of Alabama, and amoung the second tier teams in the SEC.




Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 10:03 pm
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

But you won't like it when one of these days, one of his star recruits is ruled ineligible because Kiffin went a little too far.  All cheaters eventually get caught.



Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 9:30 pm
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

C'mon Dodd, at least pretend like you care about these articles. Not to be your high school English teacher, but PROOFREAD YOUR WORK.



Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 7:27 pm
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

The difference is that Laney is intentionally putting the spot-lite on himself and Tennessee.  He has taken the posistion that "any publicity is good publicity".  I happen to think that that is pretty pathetic.  However, it may work.  He did pull in a great recruiting class in year one.  I don't think coaches like Carrol, Meyer and Saben had to turn their programs into a circus to pull in good recruits.  If he wins, it won't matter.  Everyone will get a good story out of his behavior.  If he is a flop,  he and the University will look really pathetic.  Until then, none of this matters and it is getting way too much attention.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2009 4:58 pm
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

How typical from a Bama fan.  TPing trees has been done for ages by people all over.  However, how many people get a broom stick and stick an empty box of tide on it topped by a roll of toilet paper and carry it around a football stadium like a trophy?




Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: June 10, 2009 4:54 pm
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

Six violations that we KNOW about.  Countless others, I am sure, that we dont know about.



Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 3:17 pm
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

Are you guys keeping secrets in Tennessee....as far as recruiting is concerned? So far I dont see the recruiting impact of the "Dream Team"...I mean, the recruits they have now still cant match the level of talent that Fulmer was used to getting. Its still early though.

...but I agree with you...these secondary violations shouldn't make headlines...and the only reason they do..is because Kiffin is such an ahsshole.



Since: Feb 6, 2009
Posted on: June 10, 2009 11:21 am
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

As a Tennessee fan, it absolutely amazes me how Coach Kiffin conjures up so much hatred, attention, and publicity. Did everyone see the part about The Ohio State????   375 Violations???   That's over 40 a year, folks !!!  Kiffin has 5 in six months and it's a National Story??? I understand he is young, brash, and full of %#&$ and vinegar.....but come on!! I'll take his attitude anyday....especially when it comes to the "Dream Team " coaching staff he's assembled. And the recruiting......YEESSS!!!!!!!



Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2009 10:37 am
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

LOL!

"Auburn recently had the idea of traveling around the state in limos to impress recruits. Completely legal. However, the football program might have broken rules recently during a so-called Big Cat Weekend. Recruits were allowed to "roll" Toomer's Corner with toilet paper, a longtime tradition after big Auburn victories. Fans, police, media, even the mascot were present.

That could be a secondary violation -- several of them -- because it simulates a game-day setting. Yeah, I know, toilet paper and trees don't conjure up game day but that's exactly what it is at Auburn ."




Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2009 10:47 pm
 

Secondary violations and Kiffin

There are so many secondary rules and restrictions and I find none of them are especially worth getting upset over.  I really don't care if people want to drive around in limos or simulate a game day atmopshere-- doesn't matter if it's my team or someone else's team doing it.  What's the big deal?


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