This kind of slipped under the radar a few weeks ago.
At the beginning of July, the father of the nation’s No. 1 recruit for 2012 was hired by Florida State — the same school where his son signed a football scholarship.
Defensive end Mario Edwards of Denton, Texas, was ranked No. 1 by ESPN and signed with FSU over Texas and Oklahoma last February.
His father, Mario Sr., was announced as FSU’s director of player development earlier this month.
Naturally, the hiring has created speculation that it was a so-called “package deal.” Is it even legal for a college to hire the father of a recruit?
ESPN’s David Hale wrote about the issue in this article, pointing out “This is something of a gray area according to NCAA rules, which officially forbid any direct or indirect financial aid given to players or their family members, including employment, according to article 13.2 of the NCAA’s Division I football bylaws.”
Hale also mentioned that family members of basketball recruits aren’t allowed to be hired by an athletic department within two years of a recruit’s enrollment, unless it’s for a coaching position. More from Hale’s story:
The player development director job is not officially deemed a coaching position at FSU, but Edwards will work closely with the coaching staff.
According to a Florida State spokesman, the university worked closely with the NCAA during the hiring process before Edwards was brought on board, and the NCAA offered no significant obstacles. “His hiring would have gone through compliance anyway, but extra proactive steps were taken since his son was a student-athlete,” the spokesman said.
In fairness to Mario Sr. and his qualifications, he was a star football player at FSU and played five seasons in the NFL.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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