The Ohio State athletic department self-reported 24 minor violations in the latter half of 2013, about double the amount reported by any of five other Big Ten schools.
The Lantern requested all self-reported NCAA violations occurring from June to December 2013 for every Big Ten school except Northwestern, March 16. As of Monday, records were received from Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota.
Northwestern is a private university and is not required to provide public records.
Representatives from Michigan, Indiana and Iowa acknowledged and were still processing The Lantern’s request as of Monday. Penn State representatives did not respond to multiple emails requesting the records. Nebraska denied the release of records.
“Such records are not subject to disclosure under the Nebraska public records statutes, and therefore, will not be provided to you,” John Wiltse, acting records director for the University of Nebraska said in an emailed statement.
Of the records received, the vast majority — totaling 22 violations — were for impermissible contact to prospective student athletes and/or prospective athletes’ parents by an athletic department staff member.
There were 11 total reported violations for impermissible phone calls, six of which were reported by OSU.
The OSU Compliance Office determined there were multiple phone calls by football team staff members to prospective student-athletes and/or their parents. The report says they were the result of inadvertent “pocket dials.”
OSU’s women’s soccer, wrestling, women’s lacrosse, field hockey and women’s volleyball teams all reported at least one occurrence of an impermissible phone call to a prospective student-athlete.
Minnesota reported two events of impermissible phone calls to prospective student-athletes and Illinois reported one which was an accident.
Michigan State reported two impermissible phone calls, one for an assistant women’s track and field coach who exceeded the number of permissible phone calls to a prospective student athlete.
A Michigan State assistant coach also placed an impermissible call to a prospective student-athlete.
In addition to phone calls, 10 reported violations from the five other schools in the conference were for text messages, compared to one for OSU.
A women’s volleyball coach reportedly replied to a text message from a prospective student-athlete, mistakenly thinking the message was an email.
Wisconsin and Purdue each reported one impermissible text message, while Minnesota and Illinois each reported two, and Michigan State reported three.
Email and social media
In the way of digital communication, OSU, Illinois and Wisconsin each reported one email correspondence in violation of NCAA policy.
Minnesota also reported two incidents of coaches reaching out to prospective athletes on Facebook prior to the allowed date for communication to be made.
Similarly, OSU reported a women’s golf coach accepting a Facebook friend request from a 2016 prospective student-athlete before the permissible date for such communication.
OSU reported two impermissible mailings sent to prospective student-athletes while Minnesota reported one.
An OSU men’s volleyball coach sent letters to two prospective athletes that promised them athletic-related financial aid before they were high school seniors and a field hockey coach “inadvertently” sent recruiting materials to a 2016 prospective student-athlete.
Minnesota marketing sent impermissible recruiting material to a potential student-athlete.
Aside from communicating with prospective student-athletes, there were eight reports of NCAA violations related to athletes receiving impermissible benefits. OSU did not report any violations involving impermissible benefits during the final six months of 2013.
At Wisconsin, four incoming freshmen men’s and women’s golf student-athletes participated in a free round of golf before classes began, thus they were still considered potential student-athletes.
Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota each reported two violations related to benefits.
An Illinois women’s tennis coach provided a prospective athlete with a personalized cookie cake who then tweeted a picture of it resulting in a reported violation.
Also at Illinois, a university employed tutor loaned a book to a non-scholarship football student-athlete.
Purdue reported an incident in which a student-athlete shipped personal belongings using a university-expensed FedEx account and a second where the university paid for lodging for the parents of a prospective student-athlete before the athlete’s official visit.
A Minnesota men’s golf coach bought a meal for a club coach and a women’s golf coach gave a prospective athlete’s father a shirt during a visit. However, the father sent payment for the shirt the following day.
Michigan State reported one benefits violation where a high school coach received more than two complimentary admissions to a home athletics event.
Though OSU did report any improper benefits in the second half of 2013, the university is familiar with this type of violation.
OSU created an Office of Compliance in February 2012 following the “Tattoo-Gate” scandal, which led to the resignation of football coach Jim Tressel, the departure of former Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor and a list of NCAA sanctions which included a one-year bowl ban and vacated all wins from the 2010 season.
On Dec. 23, 2010, the NCAA suspended Pryor, running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive tackle Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas – all of whom played for the Buckeyes at the time – for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits from Eddie Rife, owner of Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor. Linebacker Jordan Whiting also received a one-game ban.
Nine violations were reported in relation to prospective student-athletes’ official visits. Purdue reported one. Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan State and OSU each reported two violations.
Illinois, Michigan State and OSU reported visits with prospective student-athletes that were made public through social media, in violation of NCAA policy.
Don Gerard, the mayor of Champaign, Illinois, and a facilities manager at the university, tweeted about a men’s basketball recruit visit.
Members of the OSU synchronized swimming team posted photos of a prospective student-athlete they were hosting on Facebook and Instagram that a coach also commented on.
In addition, Purdue and OSU both hosted potential athletes on official visits before those students were registered either with the NCAA Eligibility Center or the university’s institutional request list.
Wisconsin reported two violations in relation to players’ eligibility while Illinois and OSU each reported one.
Two incoming prospective OSU 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 enrolled at the university.
An Illinois football player competed in the first five games of the season while not eligible because he didn’t have the necessary percent of degree completed to meet requirements.
A football player and a member of the men’s basketball team at Wisconsin each competed while enrolled in less than 12 credit hours. At Wisconsin, a member of the women’s swimming team practiced with the team more than 45 days after she did not have certification of amateur status.
The Minnesota Office of Student Finance did not have squad lists signed and on file prior to the first competition for women’s tennis, women’s golf and men’s golf.
A Wisconsin assistant coach posted a link on an online wrestling forum to an article stating that a potential student-athlete made a verbal commitment to the university.
A member of the OSU football coaching staff reportedly used smokeless tobacco product during a game, violating NCAA bylaws.
Michigan State reported a violation after a news article involving a prospective student athlete were posted to Michigan State’s Pinterest page.