Texas A&M football has been slapped lightly by The Association. Very, very lightly.
In releasing the results of the Committee on Infractions findings Thursday, the NCAA announced that “[t]he Texas A&M football program violated… recruiting and countable athletically related activity rules between January 2018 and February 2019.” The two violations “uncovered” by the NCAA?
The university, head coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the head coach and an assistant coach had impermissible recruiting contact with a prospect at his high school. The conversation was impermissible because it occurred before the completion of the prospect’s junior year in high school.
Regarding the countable athletically related activity violations, during permissible weeks of spring and summer activity, the football program unintentionally caused student-athletes to exceed activity time limits by approximately seven hours.
According to the committee, head coach Jimbo Fisher “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance because of his personal involvement in the recruiting violation.” Fisher was also accused of failing to monitor his coaching staff, which led to the allowable-hours violation. As a result, Fisher was slapped with a six-month show-cause order by the NCAA. Fisher had previously served a nine-day ban on phone calls/emails/texts with recruits in January of this year as well as a reduction in off-campus recruiting from December 2019-January 2020. Fisher will also be banned from all off-campus recruiting activities throughout the fall contact period.
As part of the show-cause, Fisher is also required to issue a public statement addressing the NCAA violations.
Other penalties incurred by the Texas A&M football program include:
- One year of probation.
- A fine of $5,000.
- A reduction in football official visits by 17 days during the 2019-20 academic year.
- An off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff for November 2019, which reduced the permissible evaluation days for the 2019-20 academic year by 19.
- A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 spring off-campus recruiting period and a 10-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 fall off-campus recruiting period.
- The university ended its recruitment of the prospect.
- A ban on recruiting any prospects from the prospect’s high school for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-222 academic years.
- A six-month show-cause order for the assistant coach. The terms of the show-cause order include a previously served nine-day ban on phone calls, emails or texts with prospects in January 2020; a reduction in off-campus recruiting contact days by three for the December 2019 through January 2020 contact period; a ban on all off-campus recruiting activities for the fall 2020 contact period; and additional one-on-one rules education.