First, what we know in this situation: LSU has been slapped with some rather hefty recruiting sanctions.
What we don’t know? Exactly what recruit led to the sanctions… although the Baton Rouge Advocate has an idea.
According to the Advocate, and citing public records obtained by the newspaper, “LSU is banned from signing early enrollee recruits to financial aid agreements for the next two years, and the program will be stripped of 10 percent of its recruiting evaluation days in 2015.” The latter sanction works out to 21 of 210 days allotted on the recruiting calendar. The penalties stem from a recruit who had originally signed a financial aid agreement with LSU last August, with the intention of enrolling in January, but ultimately signed a National Letter of Intent elsewhere.
The financial aid agreement (FAA) mentioned binds the university to the player, but not the player to the university. That policy was enacted by the NCAA in 2013, and allows high school seniors who intend to enroll early to sign the agreements and, in theory, end their recruitment and allow them to focus on what’s left of their senior years.
Football programs that have recruits sign such agreements are permitted unlimited contact with the prospects, although there are penalties for the program if that player enrolls elsewhere. That appears to be the boat in which LSU finds itself.
The public records obtained by the Advocate do not list the name of the recruit involved. However, all the signs seem to point to one who signed with an SEC West rival.
Matt Womack, an offensive tackle from Mississippi, signed a financial aid agreement with LSU in August intending to enroll at the school in January. Instead, Womack de-committed — as hundreds of prospects do each year — and signed a National Letter of Intent with Alabama in February.
One twist in the plot is that the three-star lineman’s father, David Womack, told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger in mid-September that “LSU is not using [the FAA to take advantage of the unlimited contact] because if Matt was to change his mind they would have to report it.” Exactly why LSU got slapped, or if said slapping involved another unknown recruit who signed an FAA with LSU but enrolled elsewhere, is unknown.
Four other LSU recruits who signed FAAs with the Tigers ultimately enrolled at the school.
(Photo credit: Rivals.com)