Home » Sports » Ohio State athletics self-reports 24 minor NCAA violations

Ohio State athletics self-reports 24 minor NCAA violations


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The Ohio State athletic department self-reported 24 minor violations in the second half of 2013, including nine for “impermissible” phone calls, text messages and emails to prospective student-athletes, as well as three violations for various involvement in conditioning and summer camp activities.

The figures are a result of an open records request submitted Thursday by The Lantern and released Friday by the OSU public records office.

None of the violations are considered major, but the report included 19 violations that included “prospective student-athletes.”

The last 2013 violation was reported Nov. 6.

In each case, the school proposed its own corrective action to either the Big Ten or NCAA, who accepted the proposals but at times, offered further recommendations to each sport. Common resolutions include issuing a letter of education to the respective coaching staff and restraining them from contacting the prospective student-athletes for a period of time, usually two weeks. The football program, however, was only restricted to one week of no contact for impermissible phone calls.

OSU athletic director and Vice President Gene Smith said the school typically has “about 40” self-reported secondary violations annually during an interview with The Lantern May 15, 2012.

“On an annual basis, we have about 40 (violations),” Smith said. “It ranges in that area we’re sitting at. In that 40 range is where we always hang.

“Our whole thing is if we have 10 (violations), I’d have a problem. I mean, I really would because people are going to make mistakes. And that means if I only have 10 out of 350 employees (and) 1,000 athletes – something’s not right.”


Reported June 27

  • The Compliance Office determined there to be seven impermissible phone calls to prospective student-athletes and/or their parents after an April 2013 review of phone records between Aug. 1, 2012, and March 1, 2013. The report states they were the result of inadvertent “pocket dials.”

Reported Nov. 4

  • A member of the coaching staff was reported to have used a smokeless tobacco product during a game, violating NCAA bylaws.

Men’s Volleyball

Reported July 15

  • Coach Pete Hanson sent letters to two prospective student-athletes in March 2013 that promised them athletically related financial aid. At the time each athlete received said letter, they had not yet reached their senior years in high school.

Women’s Volleyball

Reported July 15

  • Coach Geoff Carlston made an impermissible telephone call to a prospective student-athlete who was a sophomore in high school on Oct. 8, 2012.

  • On April 24, an assistant coach replied to an email from a prospective student-athlete who was a sophomore in high school.

  • Carlston replied to a text message from a prospective student-athlete in February 2013 who was a junior in high school. Carlston mistakenly thought it was an email, not a text.

Reported July 29

  • Two incoming prospective student-athletes — one in women’s volleyball and the other in men’s soccer — participated in voluntary workouts conducted by an OSU strength coach while not enrolled at OSU.

  • A total of three incoming student-athletes were employed as volunteers at the LiFE Sports Camp June 26. All three were enrolled in summer school, but were still considered prospective student-athletes in terms of employment.

Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey

Reported Aug. 1

  • A women’s hockey volunteer coach was involved with a local sports club that had multiple prospective student-athletes residing outside a permitted 50-mile radius of the university. On May 7, the coach provided a private lesson to a current member of the women’s team, and while also serving as a volunteer coach for the men’s ice hockey team from 2009-11, the coach provided three student-athletes a combined total of four private lessons during summer vacation.

Men’s Soccer

Reported July 29

  • Two incoming prospective student-athletes — one in men’s soccer and the other in women’s volleyball — participated in voluntary workouts conducted by an OSU strength coach while not being enrolled at OSU.

Women’s Soccer

Reported July 25

  • An assistant coach made an impermissible phone call to a 2015 prospective student-athlete March 26.

  • An assistant coach and an assistant director of compliance distributed camp postcards at a soccer tournament May 4.


Reported July 29

  • The baseball director of operations participated in an off-campus baseball league against prospective student-athletes.


Reported July 11

  • Two private camps in spring 2013 impermissibly used the names of an OSU coach and two student-athletes to advertise the camps.

Reported July 19

  • On both March 25 and May 7, coach Tom Ryan made two impermissible phone calls to 2014 prospective student-athletes.

Women’s Lacrosse

Reported July 23

  • On Oct. 17, 2012, coach Alexis Venechanos made an impermissible phone call to a prospective student-athlete in the 2015 class.

Field Hockey

Reported July 24

  • An assistant coach made an impermissible phone call to a 2015 prospective student-athlete April 25.

  • The field hockey program received approval from the OSU Compliance Office that allowed it to put an image of a current member of the team on an institutional brochure.

Reported Nov. 6

  • A coach inadvertently sent recruiting materials to a 2016 prospective student-athlete.

Men’s Gymnastics

Reported Nov. 5

  • Program engaged in seven hours of out-of-season conditioning activities involving gymnastics equipment.

Women’s Golf

Reported Sept. 12

  • On June 25, coach Therese Hession accepted a Facebook friend request from a 2016 prospective student-athlete.

Synchronized Swimming

Reported July 9

  • Members of the synchronized swimming team posted photos of prospective student-athletes they were hosting to both Facebook and Instagram on Oct. 21, 2012. The photos that were posted were then commented on by the student-athletes and coach Holly Vargo-Brown.

  • On Jan. 10, 2013, the Compliance Office approved and provided what was determined to be an official visit for a prospective student-athlete who had not yet been registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving

Reported July 15

  • During a dead period, then-men’s and women’s diving coach Vince Panzano flew to The Woodlands, Texas, April 15 and observed several unknown prospective student-athletes practice.


  1. The sun would shine on The Ohio State University if just once there would be no violations! It is hard for me to understand how supposedly responsible adults cannot read and follow the rules. After my reading these violations it seems that a inexpensive calendar would solve many of these issues. Let’s try harder, OSU! Be the university that sets positive standards.

  2. WOW now I understand why a buckeye pro athlete had to remove a tweet promoting a high schooler who hadn’t signed yet and violated signing date restrictions??? SO many rules to remember and follow!!! Glad my alums sport isn’t listed…….LOL

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