NCAA report: Florida football dealing with recruiting violations, sanctions and probation
ATHENS — Florida football violated NCAA recruiting contact rules twice between January and March of 2019, leading to ongoing sanctions per an NCAA.org report.
Some of the penalties doled out by the Division I Committee on Infractions have already been served, while others pending will put a dent into future Gators’ football recruiting efforts.
Coach Dan Mullen was dealt a one-year show-cause order, and the Gators were put on probation for a year with recruiting restrictions in place.
The NCAA article released on Tuesday covers the findings of the agreement from the infractions committee, which concluded coach Dan Mullen didn’t promote an atmosphere of compliance during the two instances of impermissible recruiting activities.
The report of Florida football troubles comes on the heels of another Georgia rival, Tennessee, conducting an internal investigation for alleged recruiting violations and impermissible benefits, per a Knoxville News-Sentinel report.
While the Vols’ findings — and pending NCAA investigation and potential action/sanctions — remain down the road, Florida’s are more conclusive.
The NCAA enforcement staff reached an agreement with the University of Florida that Mullen, and an unnamed assistant coach, had impermissible contact when the coaches met the prospects’ high school coach.
“Leading up to that visit, the head coach sent the prospect texts about his upcoming visit to the high school and his interest in recruiting the prospect. NCAA rules were violated because off-campus recruiting contacts are not allowed until after a football prospect’s junior year of high school. The violations were Level II.”
The NCAA report also found a Level lll violation involving impermissible contact with 127 prospects during a campus visit.
“…. Members of the coaching staff also had impermissible contact with approximately 127 prospects when seven nonscholastic football teams visited the campus and toured the football facilities on their way to a tournament in Tampa. The assistant coach had incidental impermissible contacts with several prospects. The violations were Level III.
The head coach agreed that he did not promote an atmosphere of compliance in light of his personal involvement in one of the violations.”
A Level lll violation, while considered a “breach of conduct,” is considered isolated and provide “minimal” advantages.
The Gators were hit with several sanctions including:
• One-year show-cause prohibiting head coach from off-campus recruiting activity during fall 2020 and a four-day off-campus recruiting ban during fall 2021 contact period (extended due to COVID recruiting restrictions).
• A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff during the spring 2021 off-campus recruiting period.
• University banned head coach from recruiting first 10 days of Jan. 2020 contact period.
• A 30-day off-campus recruiting ban for the head coach during the fall 2019 evaluation period.
• The university will not recruit any prospects from the high school in Seattle from the 2019-20 through 2020-21 academic years.
• One year of probation.
• Reduced fall 2019 evaluations from 42 to 21.
• Reduced football evaluation days by 12 for the 2018-19 academic year.
• Restrictions on all recruiting telephone calls with football prospects from April 15-May 31, 2019.
Florida is scheduled to conclude the season at 8 p.m. on Dec. 30 in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.