Report: Secondary Football Recruiting Violations Lead To Self-Imposed Penalties


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON -- Clemson University’s NCAA Compliance Services office apparently has levied several sanctions against the school’s football program in recent months which could have an adverse effect on recruiting.

A source close to the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Tommy Bowden’s team has been stripped of two scholarships and five official visits toward the 2002 recruiting class. According to the source, as many as three assistant coaches and the team’s administrative assistant had their salaries frozen for incidents the compliance office termed secondary violations of NCAA rules.

Two of the coaches reportedly have been required by the compliance office to attend an NCAA rules clinic at their own expense. One of those two allegedly has been taken off the road for the remainder of the year, which would leave Clemson with six coaches recruiting on the road instead of the standard seven.

Additionally, the spring recruiting period apparently has been shortened by a week. This would limit Clemson coaches to three weeks of evaluation instead of the four allowed by the NCAA. The source also said the staff would lose a week in the winter contact period, shortening that recruiting period from six weeks to five.

Clemson officials have refused to comment on the situation. Bowden, through Clemson Sports Information Director Tim Bourret, referred all questions to Becky Bowman, director of compliance services. Bowman said she would not comment on any of the reported sanctions.

Earlier this week, the Daily Journal/Messenger responded by filing a Freedom of Information Act request with

Bowman to obtain all records pertaining to any disciplinary action taken by her office against Clemson’s athletic department from Sept. 1, 2000, until the present.

The university’s response to that request is still pending, but by law is due no later than Wednesday, June 6, which is 15 working days from the date of the request.

According to the source, some of the specifics involved in the sanctions include:

-- An assistant coach inadvertently having lunch with his daughter in the same restaurant as Clemson football prospects and coming into contact with those recruits. That coach reportedly had his salary frozen, was taken off the road, and must attend an NCAA rules clinic at his own expense;

-- Another assistant coach barring Eric Baumgartner, Bowman’s assistant, from sitting in on a meeting between Bowden and a recruit. That coach allegedly had his salary frozen and also must pay his own way to the NCAA rules clinic;

-- An administrative assistant inadvertently providing two desserts for recruits during Clemson’s massive recruiting weekend in mid-January. The administrative assistant made desserts available at dinner the night of January 13 and then again at the hotel afterward. The NCAA allows just one dessert per meal. His salary reportedly was frozen.

All of the assistant coaches contacted for this story declined to comment.
Dan Scott is the host of SportsTalk (10AM-Noon) on 104.9 FM in Upstate SC and
Managing Editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger

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