Georgia has as many rules violations (6) as Tennessee

Permissible contact: This is a photo of North Gwinnett lineman JaWuan James posing with Orange Pride hostesses, including the controversial Lacey Earls (R), before the Vols game against Georgia on Oct. 10. James committed to Tennessee a short time later.

Permissible contact: This is a photo of North Gwinnett lineman JaWuan James posing with Orange Pride hostesses, including the controversial Lacey Earps (R), before the Vols game against Georgia on Oct. 10. James committed to Tennessee a short time later.

As it turns out, Georgia has committed just as many NCAA secondary violations as Tennessee in the past year.

Volunteers’ coach Lane Kiffin, once referred to in a Florida Times-Union headline as “Lane Violation,” has been hammered by the national media — and more than once in this space — for his penchant for breaking NCAA rules. Tennessee has been cited for six in the year since he was tabbed their new coach on Dec. 1, 2008. Now they face at least two more violations as the NCAA continues an ongoing inquiry into the possible misuse of recruiting hostesses, impermissible visits and other infractions.

Impermissible contact: This is the infamous photo of Byrnes players Brandon Willis and Corey Miller with UT hostesses Dahra Johnson (L) and Lacey Earls in September in Duncan, S.C. (SI.com photo by Andy Staples)

Impermissible contact: This is the infamous photo of Byrnes players Brandon Willis and Corey Miller with UT hostesses Dahra Johnson (L) and Lacey Earps in September in Duncan, S.C. (SI.com photo by Andy Staples)

Those numbers sound roguish, but they can’t really be placed into context without some perspective.

So I contacted the University of Georgia to find out, via a Freedom of Information request, how many violations the Bulldogs had committed in the same period. You may be surprised to find out — I was — that they’ve also had six secondary violations in the last year.

What I don’t have yet, but have set out to get, is the numbers for other SEC schools. Or at least those that comply with  federal and state sunshine laws. For some reason Alabama and Auburn always tap-dance around these things. But we’ll try. And Vanderbilt always gets out of it because it’s a private school.

Georgia Tech reported that it had no NCAA violations since Dec. 1, 2008.

So just for the purpose of this blog — don’t mistake this as an investigative piece — I tried to find some of those numbers online. The best Google could do for me was a June 28th story in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that had Tennessee “leading” the SEC with six secondaries, followed by Ole Miss (5), LSU (4), Georgia (then with 3), Mississippi State (3), South Carolina (3), Arkansas (2), Florida (2) and Kentucky (0). You’ll note that Bama and Auburn aren’t included.

LSU, it should be noted, is also being investigated in an ongoing NCAA probe.

So what to make of all this?

I asked Eric Baumgartner, Georgia’s director of compliance, if this constituted a particularly bad year or if it was about the norm for the Bulldogs.

“Well, if you look back over the past couple of years, that’s been pretty consistent, though I don’t like using the word consistent,”  Baumgartner said. “I’m not necessarily worried about the number of violations. I’m worried about repeat violations. If the same thing is happening over and over, then something’s not cooking. But (six) doesn’t feel like a significant amount.”

That meshes with what both Kiffin and UT athletics director Mike Hamilton have said throughout.

“I don’t believe it’s an inordinate amount,” Kiffin told reporters recently. “They’re not deliberate but unfortunately they happen.”

Secondary violations are classified as Level I and Level II, I being more serious and thought to create some sort of recruiting advantage. Major violations are the most severe but none have been reported in this case.

The Bulldogs’ were as follows (by date reported by UGA):

  • Jan. 9: Matthew Stafford and three teammates received complimentary tickets to an NFL game from an NFL player, a Level I violation.
  • Jan. 21: Assistant coaches Mike Bobo and John Jancek left messages for the same prospect on consecutive days (can call just once a week), a Level II violation.
  • March 17: New England Patriots tight end and UGA alum Ben Watson (deemed representative of athletics interest) telephoned signee Arthur Lynch to congratulate him on signing with the Bulldogs, a Level I violation.
  • July 13: Coaching staff members “inadvertently” called prospective student-athletes (PSAs) before the permissible period and twice called the same PSA in the same week, a Level I violation.
  • August 5: A recruiting graduate assistant telephoned high school coaches regarding transcripts, a Level I violation.
  • Nov. 17: A coaching staff member evaluated a PSA more than once during the fall evaluation period (level undetermined as incident is still being evaluated by NCAA regulators).

Tennessee’s violations in general involved Kiffin more directly but also are considered secondary:

  • In February he mentioned prospect Bryce Brown by name in a live radio interview.
  • He mentioned prospect J.C. Copeland on his Twitter page.
  • Twice the Vols were cited for impermissible game-day simulations.
  • Kiffin was videotaped on an “Outside the Lines” piece while meeting with two recruits.
  • Improper contact by Kiffin, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

In any case, the SEC has been outspoken in its stance that even secondary violations are taken serious. And as evidenced by the stack of papers that passes through the hands of compliance officers, coaches, ADs, commissioners and NCAA administrators for each one, they do.

“Every one of them matters,” Greg Sankey, SEC associate commissioner for compliance, told the Birmingham News a while back. “I have a 427-page rule manual with thousands of in­terpretations. The reality of the regulatory culture is you’re going to have viola­tions — circumstances where people go outside the boundaries of the rules. There is a system that involves confer­ences, the NCAA staff, the Committee on Infractions, that determines what type of action is warranted as an out­come of secondary viola­tions.”

341 comments Add your comment

Barbicide

December 17th, 2009
3:33 pm

First!!!!??? First time posting. HAHAHAHAHAA

cajdawg

December 17th, 2009
3:35 pm

Tennessee is running a freaking brothel.

Leave it to Chip...

December 17th, 2009
3:36 pm

…to print all that is bad with UGA!

Don't worry, Chip...

December 17th, 2009
3:38 pm

…no one will ever acuse you of doing ANY investigative work!

who cares

December 17th, 2009
3:40 pm

i just wasted 2 minutes of my life.

juvenal

December 17th, 2009
3:41 pm

i just wish the ncaa was this concerned about having a real football champion..

boog

December 17th, 2009
3:43 pm

okay Chip… please! But how many of our violations involve whoring out our co-eds? Great piece of journalism.

PMC

December 17th, 2009
3:44 pm

Mark Richt seems more like an absentee landlord the longer his tenure endures.

PMC

December 17th, 2009
3:44 pm

Tennessee = Brothel.

Chuck

December 17th, 2009
3:44 pm

Am I the only one to notice that Lacey is wearing the same outfit in both pictures? Is that her UT issued recruiting uniform?

GA Sucks

December 17th, 2009
3:44 pm

Me likey Lacey!

klemkudtlhopr

December 17th, 2009
3:45 pm

A 427 page manual with thousands of interpretations. That about does it for me.

Greg

December 17th, 2009
3:49 pm

Decent article Chip.

NewnanDawg

December 17th, 2009
3:50 pm

Well Duh….. The reason the press is making a big deal of UT’s violations is obvious. Each one begins with Kiffin (the NCAA does not like it when the head guy keeps committing the violations), and they also repeated the same one twice; this last one was blatant – sending girls 200 miles away. If you look at the UGA violations, none involve Coach Richt, most are simple miscommunications on who called who when, and the tickets and Watson call were obviously just mistakes because they didn’t know the rule. I suspect that the UGA violations are going to be very similar to what most schools turn in, except UT of course.

NickZ

December 17th, 2009
3:50 pm

Hello Lacey Earl!!!

SEC Homer

December 17th, 2009
3:52 pm

427 pages of rules… I would expect there would be quite a few secondary violations… mY guess is the SEC and NCAA will try to crack down on this by passing more rules.. mabye soon we can break the 500 page barrier of what not to do.

Vol Alum

December 17th, 2009
3:52 pm

Georgia fans should never let the facts get in the way of some good drama.

#1 BAMA FAN

December 17th, 2009
3:53 pm

“They are who we thought they were” RTR

Shreveport

December 17th, 2009
3:54 pm

Haha. You deserve it dogs. Hahahahahahaha

Les W. Moore

December 17th, 2009
3:55 pm

Now Chip, you also know that Brandon Willis, Brynes HS, Duncan, SC did not decommit from Tennessee as you posted earlier. He plans to go ahead with his scheduled visit to Miami. And, what kind of coach would not allow a kid to visit Miami? (answer is Nick Saban).

I guess the mutt fans have been quieted. Hush puppy!

NickZ

December 17th, 2009
3:55 pm

Although I’m not sure about that big poof in her hair in the lower pic…

The General Feeling

December 17th, 2009
4:00 pm

It’s good to know that the UGA football operations makes mistakes just like the coaches and players. The whole program, top to bottom, is a bunch of bungling idiots.

Hominid

December 17th, 2009
4:06 pm

I think the Georgia Athletic Department as a whole has something approaching 40 to 50 violations in the last 1-2 years.

Nice pics you posted (I guess those weren’t subject to copyright infringement via your posting).

Stop making it out as if Tennessee is Alabama cira 90s when Bammer was buying players out of Memphis.

I noticed you cleaned up some of your inflammtory blog from yesterday. That’s good because some of the blog posts reek of unprofessionalism.

Mrs. AJC Johnson

December 17th, 2009
4:08 pm

This freakin paper cracks me up. UGA beats GT, and all they write about is how close the game was, rather than how UGA clearly dominated. They cannot write a decent word about UGA. Now they want to attempt to put UGA in the dumpster with UT. The AJC (mainly Bradley and Schultz) are so far up GT’s butt its pathetic.

Otto

December 17th, 2009
4:09 pm

OVerall the secondary violation between Kiffin and CMR are very different. Kiffin is proud of the violations, contacting recruits on national TV and hotties are going to HS games 200 miles from campus. It is not the same thing as a phone call.

How many secondary violations has Ohio State averaged? Google it.

gator4life

December 17th, 2009
4:09 pm

“you can’t handle the truth”

Fair enough

December 17th, 2009
4:10 pm

Fair enough Chip. Almost every school has violations. But the difference between the good and the bad – the good self report and monitor properly – while the bad smugly act as if they know the rules when clearly they don’t – and don’t report or seem to truly care.

Maybe you should have waited to get more facts before you “reported” on this – though I love the line “not an investigative piece” – LOL like we thought you would ever be truly capable of that!

Mikey is a big ginger

December 17th, 2009
4:13 pm

A good 5 minute read, or if you go to UGA this could be equivalent to your doctural thesis. But if you teach there you might kill someone.

dap01

December 17th, 2009
4:14 pm

Motive behind the article?

theTruth

December 17th, 2009
4:14 pm

CHIP, you are wrong in your assessment. “They have, after all, committed the same number of NCAA violations in the last year.”

That is a misleading comment. Georgia investigates and notifies the NCAA/SEC of their violations. Tn apparently does not. The whole investigation that is ongoing today is not ‘from within’ Tn’s compliance office. It is NOW, but was reported to the SEC by ‘outsiders’.

So, they have the same number that has been made PUBLIC but I seriously doubt Tn only has 6 especially with more on the horizon.

Ryan

December 17th, 2009
4:15 pm

Chip, by all means, please find out the secondary violations by the bammers, heck, there is a ‘Saban rule’ in effect as he has always been known to push the envelope

dap01

December 17th, 2009
4:15 pm

You remind me of CNN and Obama stories. Objective.

watcher16

December 17th, 2009
4:21 pm

Lacey is totally wearing a Bump-it

GoVols

December 17th, 2009
4:24 pm

I hate to paint with a broad brush, but it is hilarious how so many UGA fans want to claim big differences in the violations between our schools. Come on, guys, acknowledge your hatred of all things orange and especially Kiffin and let it go. I can admit that I worry he’s pushing the envelope too far, but you can’t obsess about another school’s program so much. Why do you care about UT football? I don’t care about your program; I want to beat you, UF, etc., but I don’t wish ill will on any SEC program.

BO STEPHENS

December 17th, 2009
4:24 pm

TWO DIFFERENCES CHIPPYBOY. 1)UGA’ COACH INVOLVEMENT V. DIRECT INVOLVEMENT BY KIFFIN TRAIN 2)AND SPEAKING OF TRAINS…WE DON’T RUN BROTHELS SINCE EFFIES LEFT TOWN!

Reality

December 17th, 2009
4:24 pm

So according to your article no one has done anything immoral. Chip, you are way overpaid for doing nothing!

Ralph the Mouth

December 17th, 2009
4:25 pm

Mark Richt = Bobby Bowden

“Dagummit…you expect me to know EVERYTHING that’s going on with my program?”

Burdell

December 17th, 2009
4:28 pm

watcher16:
“Lacey is totally wearing a Bump-it”

LOL, I had to look it up but you’re right…that’s hilarious!

Observer

December 17th, 2009
4:30 pm

The list of violations you mentioned are trivial nothings…. sending out “hostesses” to recruit at high school games seems like a much much bigger violation than any of the above mentioned violations. Up until now UT’s violations were meaningless drivel just like those you mentioned on UGA. Unfortunately for UT this “hostess” thing may actually get them a minor probation and cost about 5 scholarships at most! No one has been paid money and unless these girls offered sex then this is all just a bigger minor deal.

Calhoun, GA

December 17th, 2009
4:30 pm

If you will get all the data on GT in a few days, why not wait and write the story then? That is what a “journalist” would do, right?

Johnny DangerDawg

December 17th, 2009
4:31 pm

Chip Towers,
How many of UT’s violations were self-reported? How many of their possible new violations should Kiffin have noticed/reported?

militarydawginDC

December 17th, 2009
4:31 pm

tennersee’s players rob people at gunpoint

militarydawginDC

December 17th, 2009
4:33 pm

you can’t spell cheat without UT

SaintSimonsPlaysWithMyNuts

December 17th, 2009
4:33 pm

Most of the UGA citations are self reported… how many “self reported” UT citations are there? 0

If I were a fly on the wall in Knoxvegas, there would be 100’s of unreported citations

SUPER DAWG

December 17th, 2009
4:35 pm

Those poor girls from Tenny Sea don’t event know what they are doing.

Where is YOUR halo??

December 17th, 2009
4:35 pm

“But their violations are worse than ours!!” Idiots.

Observer

December 17th, 2009
4:35 pm

Hey Chip,
2 misdemeanors does not equal a felony or 2 felonies! So far this year no one has any violations that are near as serious as this hostess scandal brewing up in Knoxville.

Johnny DangerDawg

December 17th, 2009
4:36 pm

GoVols,
I don’t wish for bad things to happen to UT (except losing to UGA). However, I do want bad things to happen to Kiffin (like getting fired). I think you know why.

GBO

December 17th, 2009
4:37 pm

I would like to thank you Chip for looking into this (even though you have incurred the wrath of the more uneducated Dawg fans again.

Somehow a number of GA fans seem to think that (as my mama used to say) “their ’stuff’ don’t stink”. Is TN wrong, probably? Are they going to get hit by the NCAA, probably/possibly? But the assumption that so many Dawgs make, that everyone else is squeaky clean proves that most look at life through those “rose and black” glasses.

Is TN going to get hit because of Kiffin running his mouth too much and making a bunch of people in high places mad, probably? But some of these people who are looking for the death penalty might be sorely disappointed…and when they are peering into that crystal ball they all seem to have, they might want to check on their own teams as well.

DawginLex

December 17th, 2009
4:37 pm

Better recheck Kentucky. They had over 200 secondary violations in multiple sports including football. One restaurant was feeding all the athletes for free. Sandy Bell, UK compliance director was eating there one night and the waiter found out who she was during conversation.

The waiter commented that all the athletes that come in “sure do tip well”. This led to further discussion where the waiter stated, “the owner lets them all eat free”.