A situation involving a player who left P.J. Fleck‘s former football program is causing some consternation for the head coach’s current one.
In very late February, Western Michigan announced that Robert Spillane (pictured) had asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship in order to transfer to another school. It was rumored that the starting linebacker could join his former coach, Fleck, in Minnesota; it was further rumored that Fleck had been actively recruiting Spillane and other Bronco football players, the former before he had been given a release.
On Twitter, Spillane attempted to brush aside the suggestions that his move from Kalamazoo had anything to do with his former coach.
— Robert Spillane (@14rspillane) March 1, 2017
In a seemingly related matter, both the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press are reporting that the university will self-report to the NCAA what it’s describing as a “minor” violation involving contact with one of his former players. The former player was not identified by name.
Any contact between a coach and a player on scholarship at another university is strictly prohibited.
From the Pioneer Press:
From my understanding, even if a coach sends a former student-athlete a text that even says ‘happy birthday,’ that’s a violation,” [athletic director Mark] Coyle said.
Coyle said he has spoken to Broncos athletics director Kathy Beauregard “and reassured her we are not recruiting students from Western Michigan.
The Gophers opened their first spring practice session under Fleck on Tuesday.