Oregon State is officially turning itself into the NCAA compliance office. After it was learned Oregon State sent recruiting material to players in Hawaii’s football program, Oregon State is submitting information from an internal investigation to the NCAA for self-reported secondary violations.
Oregon State claims the mailing of recruiting material inviting members of Hawaii’s football program to attend Oregon State’s spring game was a simple clerical error. Whether that is true or not, it does seem to be a plausible excuse that was made possible by some sloppy database maintenance that forgot to remove some names from the prospective student-athlete list the mailing was using. Of course, the NCAA prohibits one program from having any contact with players in another program once those players have signed with the school of their choice barring a rare exception (see: Penn State sanctions and Illinois coaches showing up on Penn State’s campus).
Oregon State’s previous statement on the matter claimed the school accidentally sent mail to one Hawaii football player. That certainly seems like an honest mistake, even if it is a fairly dumb one.
Don’t expect much to happen to Oregon State’s football program. These secondary violations may only amount to the NCAA’s equivalent to a slap on the wrist at the very most. Unless, of course, there is more to this story that has not been reported at this time, Oregon State should just do the right thing, file their claim to the NCAA, and move on from this embarrassing situation.
By the way, Hawaii is set to host Oregon State in 2019. Hawaii should send invites to Oregon State for the game and have a laugh over all of this.
Oregon State was the source of a brouhaha Friday when Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich exposed the Beavers as having sent recruiting mailings to current Warriors players.
“My apologies for our players not being able to attend your Spring game,” Rolovich wrote. “Ours was the same day, bad timing. Quick question, in the 203 years of coaching, none of you realized you couldn’t actively recruit another school’s players? Sent to campus? #leakydam #sloppybeavers”
On Friday evening, Oregon State released a statement saying that the school was investigating the matter:
“Oregon State Athletics and head coach Jonathan Smith became aware of unintentional mailings directed at a University of Hawai’i student-athlete this morning. We are committed to following NCAA rules and are looking into this matter fully.”
Oregon State and Hawaii are set to meet in Honolulu in the 2019 season.
This certainly isn’t a good look.
In a tweet posted to his Twitter account, Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich indicated that, inexplicably, some of his current football players had received recruiting packets from members of the Oregon State coaching staff. Included in the packets were invitations, again for current Rainbow Warriors players, to attend the Beavers’ spring game.
In his tweet, Rolovich blistered the Pac-12 program in a missive that began with his “apologies” for his players not being able to attend the spring game as it was the same day as theirs and ended with the instant-classic hashtag #sloppybeavers, which might be my new favorite thing ever.
The recruiting material sent to current football players by members of another coaching staff is, quite obviously, a clear NCAA violation. In that vein, Rolovich tagged, among others, Oregon State’s compliance department, the NCAA, the Pac-12’s compliance department and, in my second-favorite thing ever today, Lavar Ball.
“We’re investigating right now, trying to see what happens,” an OSU spokesperson stated.
According to The Oregonian, three members of first-year head coach Jonathan Smith‘s OSU coaching staff have been assistants at Hawaii at some point the past two seasons — special teams coordinator Jake Cookus, wide receiver coach Kefense Hynson and defensive line coach Legi Suiaunoa. It’s unclear if they were the assistants involved in the bungled recruiting incident.
Memphis has added an experienced voice to its defensive room. The Tigers have announced the hiring of former Oregon State, Utah State and Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Clune as a senior defensive assistant.
Clune spent the past two seasons coordinating defenses in Corvallis for head coach Gary Andersen, but was not retained by new head coach Jonathan Smith. After inheriting a unit that ranked 116th nationally in yards per play allowed in 2015, Clune bumped the Beavers to 79th in 2016, but they subsequently fell to 121st last fall. Clune spent 2015 as the defensive coordinator at Utah State, where the Aggies placed 17th nationally in yards per play allowed. Clune also spent one season — 2014 — as the defensive coordinator at Hawaii, helping the Warriors improve from 117th to 84th nationally.
Clune also has defensive coordinator experience at Southern Utah and Weber State.
Memphis went 10-3 in 2017 despite a defense that finished 75th in yards per play and 102nd in scoring. The Tigers won the American Athletic Conference’s West Division, but fell to UCF 62-55 in double overtime in the AAC Championship.
The lone opening on Nick Rolovich‘s Hawaii coaching staff has been filled.
The Mountain West Conference football program announced Thursday that Michael Ghobrial has been hired by Rolovich. Specifically, Ghobrial will serve as the Rainbow Warrior’s special teams coordinator.
Ghobrial will replace Mayur Chaudhari, who left last month for a job with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
“Coach Ghobrial was incredibly impressive during the interview process and showed a real grinder element to his coaching style which I appreciate,” Rolovich said in a statement. “All his references describe him as a tireless worker who searches out information constantly. The amount of contacts he’s developed in a short time is impressive; I received calls from NFL coaches including (former UH linebacker) Jeff Ulbrich, now with the Atlanta Falcons to high-level college coordinators.
“We’re excited with his familiarity with recruiting the state of Texas. His special teams schematics is top-notch and he also works with the specialists themselves which is important in the process of coaching that unit.”
The past two seasons, Ghobrial, who played defensive end at UCLA from 2006-07, served as the special teams coordinator at FCS Tarleton State. This will mark Ghobrial’s first on-field job at an FBS program.