‘Wrong number’ rings up recruiting violation for Richt

ATHENS –  Mark Richt returned a missed telephone call, thinking the number belonged to the mother of an East Hall High School football player Georgia is recruiting.

Instead, the number belonged to a younger football player at North Hall High School.

So what, you ask?

So the mistake constituted an NCAA secondary violation that resulted in Richt being banned from calling recruits for a week last September.

This glimpse into the minutiae — some would say silliness — of the NCAA rulebook was revealed in 40 pages of documents released Tuesday by UGA in response to an open-records request from the AJC.

The documents show that Georgia reported 14 secondary violations of NCAA rules in eight sports in the last six months of 2010.  (Secondary violations are defined as inadvertent rule-breaking that does not result in a significant competitive advantage. ) Richt’s phone call was typical of Georgia’s self-reported minor violations.

Here’s how it occurred, according to a Sept. 3 letter from UGA athletic director Greg McGarity to SEC commissioner Mike Slive:

… On Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 . . .  Coach Richt was on a call with a another prospective student-athlete (PSA) when he missed a call from a senior PSA’s mother (Mr. Sterling Bailey from East Hall High School in Georgia). The mother’s cell phone had a 678 area code. While he was checking the voicemail left by Ms. Bailey, Coach Richt missed another call from a 678 area code. After he listened to Ms. Bailey’s message, Coach Richt hit the send button for what he thought was Ms. Bailey. When a male’s voice answered the phone, Coach Richt was surprised and asked if it was Sterling, thinking he was calling Ms. Bailey and [her son] answered; however, the person answering the phone told him he had the wrong number. When Coach asked who it was, the individual said it was C.J. Curry (a junior PSA from North Hall High School in Georgia). Once Coach Richt realized who it was, he ended the call and self-reported the violation to the Compliance Office.

The NCAA determined that a violation, indeed, occurred because Richt’s call to Curry was placed prior to Sept. 1 of Curry’s senior year of high school, “which is contrary to the provisions of Bylaws 13.1.3.1 and 13.1.3.1.2.” The SEC and NCAA accepted Georgia’s proposed penalties: Richt was not allowed to call any recruits for a period of one week, and Georgia was banned from sending any general correspondence to Curry for 30 days and staff members will be banned from contacting him for the first 30 days after he otherwise could be contacted.

Both Bailey and Curry have verbally committed to Georgia, Bailey for the 2011 signing class and Curry for 2012.

Other secondary violations revealed in the documents released Tuesday include:

  • Assistant football coach Warren Belin sent a text message from his cell phone to a recruit when he intended to send an e-mail. (E-mails are permitted; texts are not.)
  • Assistant track and field coach Don Babbitt wrote on the Facebook wall of a recruit, seeking contact information. Babbitt said he thought he was using the e-mail feature rather than posting to the wall.
  • Head swimming coach Jack Bauerle and assistant swimming coach Jerry Champer made two separate phone calls to the same recruit on the same night after she called about her scholarship paperwork.
  • A volleyball staff member sent recruiting materials by priority mail, rather than regular mail.
  • A member of the equestrian team appeared in a congratulatory ad in a national equestrian magazine.

– Tim Tucker, UGA blog

213 comments Add your comment

Much ado

January 19th, 2011
5:19 am

about nothing

Fulltime dawgfan

January 19th, 2011
5:37 am

Wow is this the best article you could come up with? Must be a slow day around the ajc this is terrible!

Top Row Dawg

January 19th, 2011
5:47 am

Next recruiting story needs to be Drew, Mitchell, Rome, Jenkins, and Crowell, coming on down. Let’s right this ship boys.

Alan

January 19th, 2011
5:54 am

This is news-worthy? Who gives…..

Nub

January 19th, 2011
5:59 am

Heard CMR has some firm out of Atlanta helping with the strength and conditioning program…..First work out was much more difficult than mat drills … Also hired a nutrionist from UF:)…… woof

Welcome home

January 19th, 2011
6:07 am

So, an inadvertent call or email results in a no contact period, and there is no rule against a parent from shopping his kid?

Brillant!

south

January 19th, 2011
6:10 am

Wow Tim…good stuff…sounds like UGA and CMR have just lost complete control…has the NCAA considered the DEATH PENALTY??…..

Dawg

January 19th, 2011
6:16 am

Mark needs to call the football coach over at auburn and see how they get away without being caught. Just a few pointers mind you.

1983 UGA Grad

January 19th, 2011
6:30 am

NCAA enforcement is like the cop that stops a business man in a hurry for speeding because that is easy enforcement. yet, the same cop can’t catch the thieves and drug dealers because it is hard work and requires effort. These violations are easy enforcement and makes the NCAA appear ro be enforcing the rules, yet let a dad shop out his sons services to the highest bidder and that is overlooked because enforcement is hard and costly and the NCAA is afraid it might upset one of the Conference heads or bowl committees.

Beast from the East

January 19th, 2011
6:34 am

I don’t know how any school can keep from getting the occassional secondary violation. How in the hell are they able to keep up with who phoned, texted, e-mailed, tweeted, etc……and when was it done?
These guys need to have law degrees!

[...] give you an example, last year Mark Richt inadvertently called a potential recruit when he accidentally dialed the wrong number on his cell phone. As a result, he [...]

atltiger15

January 19th, 2011
6:34 am

or you just cant find anything

Beast from the East

January 19th, 2011
6:37 am

By the way, Tim, this Gator appreciates the article. It just goes to show us how silly some of these rules have gotten over the years. I don’t view it as an indictment of Richt or UGA. Some of you Dawgs need to get thicker (alliGATOR) skin!

Bulldog59

January 19th, 2011
6:50 am

The Barney Fife’s of the NCAA strike again. Great job guys. You really have your thumb on the pulse of the problems in NCAA football. Forget pay-for-play, pimping parents, and schools contracted to firms that represent legalized gambling, police those incorrectly dialed recruiting phone calls!

Maybe they should wait and restrict Richt during the first 5 games of the 2011 season. Oh, that only applies if you are Ohio State, sorry.

Joe B.

January 19th, 2011
6:52 am

Just another lack of attention to detail by Coach Richt. Why doesn’t he just plug Mrs. Bailey’s number into his phone? Then he can just tell his shiny Ford truck to “call Mrs. Bailey.” End of problems.

Bulldog Joe

January 19th, 2011
6:56 am

Why self-report this petty stuff?

Absolutely stupid on Georgia’s part for kneecapping itself again.

With the SEC and the NCAA, you play by how the rules are interpreted, not by the letter of the rules.

Everyone knows this except Georgia.

Georgia deserves what it gets.

Bulldog59

January 19th, 2011
6:57 am

1983 UGA Grad….all good points. The NCAA should make a movie and call it Police Academy XV. Start out with a cop writing a UGA student a ticket for illegal parking while the burglar alarm in the jewelry store next to him is screaming. Guys dressed in Auburn clothes come running out in masks, with bags of jewels, but the cop keeps writing the ticket.

The headline the next day reads: “Local Cops Cracking Down on Illegal Parking.” Everyone hails the NCAA for their fine work!

Pawsitive Panther

January 19th, 2011
7:12 am

@ Joe Do you have any idea how many Mrs. Bailey’s CMR has in his contact list? Geesh. I bet there’s at least 30.

You've got to be kidding me

January 19th, 2011
7:14 am

So I suppose, if he went to Chick-fil-a and made an order, and the kid who served them, was a junior football player at Athens-Clarke County…. before his senior year…..is this also a violation..?

Hmmm?

January 19th, 2011
7:20 am

I wonder if she wears red panties?

Bulldog Joe

January 19th, 2011
7:25 am

Going to Chick-Fil-A is only a violation if you are stupid enough to self-report it.

JB

January 19th, 2011
7:29 am

The LEAST of Mark Richt’s problems.

89Eagle

January 19th, 2011
7:32 am

NCAA is a JOKE. Richt and uga have alot bigger problems than calling a wrong number.

Trojan

January 19th, 2011
7:34 am

Why not write about the major issues at Auburn?

Dawg Days

January 19th, 2011
7:35 am

Dawg in Malta

January 19th, 2011
7:36 am

If UGA doesn’t land all those big name recruits, Richt can blame it on that week of being unable to call.

RussDawg

January 19th, 2011
7:38 am

This is nonsense (NCAA is also nonsense)
CMR is toast. AJ Green gone, Justin H gone.
next season is 7 win with a little luck
UGA scored 6 pts against C-USA in a bowl and CMR says Bobo and OLine are great ? !!!
They think 6 pt will beat Boise St and SC ?

Gatorsam

January 19th, 2011
7:38 am

Wow, you write for a tough audience. Ga. fan: “if you can write something good don’t write!” Gator fan:
Hey Dawgs! Do something good! Chomp! Chomp! Three out of 20, not so good!”

jim

January 19th, 2011
7:40 am

A volleyball staff member sent recruiting materials by priority mail, rather than regular mail. – wow

Bodda Getta

January 19th, 2011
7:44 am

Clearly a Lack Of Institutional Control here. No one is surprised.

Gator Mike

January 19th, 2011
7:46 am

This proves how stupid the SEC and NCAA leadership are these days. Mark Richt did nothing wrong except return a call. However, Newton gets suspended for 1 day for a “potential” violation, and the NCAA clears the jokers at Ohio St. to play in the Sugar Bowl and start their penance for their violation next season.
I am a Gator, but I am in UGA’s corner on this one. Slive continues to be a pompous dictator. It is little wonder that there is so much “apparent” cheating in major college football.

Worn and Weary

January 19th, 2011
7:53 am

doggie

January 19th, 2011
7:53 am

Mark is too honest for football in the south. Saban, chizik, Meyer all know how to bend and break the rules and get away with it and……win as a result. It’s cut throat and CMR is not cut throat. Mark actually thinks that, because of his honesty and integrity, that he’ll somehow come out on top one day. As a person, yes he will come out on top. As a football coach, he will not. I’m a CMR fan but unfortunately, this is the truth. It’s a slimey business and CMR is not slimey enough.

Dawg '94

January 19th, 2011
7:56 am

NFL Bound

January 19th, 2011
7:57 am

Sounds like the cheating paid off. What a great Christian man he is!!! Violating manmade rules and laws is also sinful unless you are reading a different version of the Book than I.

skydawg

January 19th, 2011
7:57 am

Hey Timmy. You want to report violations and have a real story. Start in the state just to our west where Bama and AU are full of them. Reporting on a minor secondary violation like this for the sake of a story is idiocy at best. Have a nice day.

Dawg 1

January 19th, 2011
7:58 am

Slow day at the office – for everyone.

Paul in RDU

January 19th, 2011
7:59 am

CMR called someone he shouldn’t have by accident – UGA self-reported it to the NCAA – UGA recommended the penalties and the NCAA and SEC accepted. This kind of thing happens at most schools.
It is very different from systematic rule breaking contact with recruits and then lying about it, as practiced by Bruce Pearl.

crossdawg

January 19th, 2011
8:01 am

And CMR/UGA decided that the public didn’t need to know so they didn’t mention it??

Ted Striker

January 19th, 2011
8:02 am

Thanks for the article and keep up the good work.

It does indeed illustrate some of the frivolousness of the NCAA rule book. The NCAA rule book should be burned — not modified — and they should start anew.

Hmmm?

January 19th, 2011
8:03 am

Wonder how many people who are complaining about this article clicked on it real fast when they read the headline?

Goldtimer

January 19th, 2011
8:03 am

Richt should be fired for such blatant disregard for the rules.

Hairy Reid

January 19th, 2011
8:03 am

THUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brucerugby79

January 19th, 2011
8:07 am

Some of you just don’t get it.Why are you jumping on Tim? The point of the article was how silly the NCAA is and how honest Georgia is.The Senator had same info yesterday without the backlash-sorry Tim you fish in rougher less intelligent waters.

Bremen Dawg

January 19th, 2011
8:08 am

Very useless information, I feel stupid now for reading it.

JB

January 19th, 2011
8:10 am

Question of the day. How much unemployment do you get weekly from being let go from a 3 mil dollar a year job? Is is the standard $250 a week?

JB

January 19th, 2011
8:12 am

We play at Bama 2012…. Kirby will get to sleep in his own bed that night.Selling a house is tough these days.

Davis

January 19th, 2011
8:15 am

Even this GaTech fan calls that BS..!

Neon Bordeaux

January 19th, 2011
8:17 am

I always knew the equestrian team was dirty…

J. Edgar Hoover

January 19th, 2011
8:19 am

Inadvertant text messages, emails, and returned phone calls. Evil this is. UGA is out of control and they are desperate. ANyone that belives this nonsense is dumb enouhg to think that the US Gov cvan provide safe, solid health care and a sound retirement. AHAHAHAHAH

FBI is interested in Victoryland dog racing track and the connection between that facility and its owner, already indicted on bribery charges of a AL politician, Milton McGwirk and AU. Now, THAT IS a story.

Go Dogs.