UGA reports violation in Crowell recruitment, bars Richt from calling recruits next month

Georgia broke an NCAA rule in the recruitment of prized tailback Isaiah Crowell and will respond by barring coach Mark Richt from phoning recruits next month, according to a letter from UGA athletic director Greg McGarity to the NCAA.

An attempt by Richt in January to demonstrate the Bulldogs’ need for Crowell by having him stand in as the missing tailback in an offensive formation with current players resulted in a secondary violation of the rule against “game day simulation” with recruits, McGarity wrote.

Crowell signed with Georgia last month, and the school’s self-reported violation had the temporary effect of making him ineligible. But the NCAA staff, acting on a request in McGarity’s March 4 letter, already has reinstated Crowell’s eligibility, according to an e-mail from the NCAA to UGA on Friday.

McGarity told the NCAA that Richt did not believe the January scenario constituted a “game day simulation.” However, McGarity wrote that “as a result of the violation,” Richt will receive a letter of admonishment and will be prohibited from telephoning recruits and their parents during the NCAA’s “spring evaluation period” in April.

The NCAA could accept those penalties or could impose additional ones. In most cases, if the NCAA agrees the violation is secondary, meaning inadvertent and resulting in no significant advantage, self-imposed penalties are accepted.

McGarity said Monday that he “will have no comment other than what’s in the letter,” a copy of which was obtained under the state’s Open Records Act. Richt was not available for comment, spokesman Claude Felton said. Crowell did not return messages.

McGarity described the incident in detail in his 1 ½-page letter:

“[Crowell] was on campus for his official visit January 21-23, 2011. . . . [Richt] and the football staff arranged for the offensive linemen, wide receivers, fullback and quarterback to gather . . . in the indoor practice facility that [Richt's] office overlooks. The [players] . . . were dressed in their game-day uniform tops.

“Coach Richt, [Crowell] and [Crowell's] family left his office to join the group. By the time [Crowell] made his way to the field, the team was in an offensive alignment without a running back. [Crowell] was subsequently handed a jersey and stood in the vacant running back position . . . After [Crowell] stood in the position, the student-athletes broke from the alignment and talked to him. The activity lasted less than five minutes.”

Richt’s idea “was to create a feeling for [Crowell] that he was needed,” McGarity wrote, adding that Richt didn’t think having a recruit stand in a formation without running a play constituted a violation. However, Richt “did not check with the compliance office beforehand.”

The SEC subsequently informed Georgia that the NCAA rule against game-day simulation is “all-encompassing and includes the activity [Crowell] participated in,” McGarity wrote. Also, it is against the rule for a recruit to try on or wear a game-day jersey outside of the locker room.

Georgia “does not believe a recruiting advantage was gained as [Crowell's] mother has stated that her son knew he was going to attend UGA since he was a young child,” according to McGarity’s letter.

755 comments Add your comment

Jeff

March 14th, 2011
2:39 pm

Could they just make a list of what ISN’T a violation?

Spanky

March 14th, 2011
2:40 pm

…..yeah, what Jeff said!

The Original WDE

March 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

Well would you look at that?

Hollywould

March 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

I agree Jeff. This is nothing and I am a Aubrn man.

maddawg

March 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

@DanWeiner

March 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

Stellar work by Georgia to commit recruiting violations with every big time recruit. Mark Richt’s program is doing big things.

Hollywould

March 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

Auburn, sorry

schmeckdawg

March 14th, 2011
2:42 pm

@Jeff

I think the only thing the NCAAholes don’t consider a violation, is maybe breathing! They are a joke.

VinceVanGo

March 14th, 2011
2:42 pm

I hope the Bulldogs Dream team doesn’t mean a slew of violations. I’m not sure that Richt could survive it and Georgia doesn’t want to be lumped in with the other recruiting sleaze buckets in the SEC.

gbal

March 14th, 2011
2:43 pm

Close Comments Tim -

Jeff

March 14th, 2011
2:43 pm

I mean, please. Go to the SI.COM College Football page. Half of all the articles are about NCAA violoations.

Brian

March 14th, 2011
2:44 pm

Note: Not a UGA fan.

What in the world is going on here? Why is this even a violation? The NCAA needs to disband.

longdog

March 14th, 2011
2:45 pm

Yeah at least we didn’t bust up in there with guns and scare old folks

Trojan

March 14th, 2011
2:45 pm

Perhaps CMR should have email the information to Crowell on a stolen PC or perhaps he should have only shown the formation to his Dad when his Dad picked up the check for $180K. If so, the NCAA would be utterly speechless and would not find anything?

BMDPD

March 14th, 2011
2:46 pm

Reeee-dik-u-lus!

just sayin'

March 14th, 2011
2:46 pm

at least it’s a ’self report’….but wonder where/why someone is requesting FOI details on Ga’s recruiting?

put me in coach

March 14th, 2011
2:46 pm

I hope CMR does it again next year if it means landing the #1 recruit in the STATE…HAHA

Big deal, who cares. Go Dawgs.

timthebrave

March 14th, 2011
2:47 pm

They have rules against everything except selling your kid to the highest bidder…….

NCAA is strange

Alabama Jack

March 14th, 2011
2:48 pm

UGay, the least of the east and totally irrelevant elsewhere

dawgs

March 14th, 2011
2:48 pm

Now let’s see what the NCAA does to Tressel.. After all Ohio State has voluntarily suspended him for the Akron and Toledo games and fined him $250K which I’m sure he’ll pay out of petty cash.. That’s TOUGH LOVE !!!

GTJason

March 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

I’m a GT fan but this is retarded. If this is a violation then so is giving them a jersey with their name on it and a locker with their name on it. It’s bull, every team tries to make every recruit feel like there is a spot on the field for them. I mean that was UGA’s answer to auburn’s $200K check, the kid made the right choice.

Seriously...

March 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

NCAA is a joke.

kydawg

March 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz Wake me up when there is a story here…much “ado” about nothing.

Former Auburn Player posting from jail

March 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

Yeah!! What the Original WDE said.

stinky pete

March 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

Breakaway From NCAA

March 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

What if the big schools (and whoever else wants to join) get tired of this and demand NCAA reform or they will form their own group?

schmeckdawg

March 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

A violation for having a kid stand in a formation on an official visit is a violation! So now CMR cannot contact any potential recruits or their families during the evaluation period. I know this is self imposed, but, after what a clown like Tressel has done, and his “punishment,” why even waste time on something like this!!!!

gdawginkalamazoo

March 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

Holy crap wait till they find out about the $180,000 grand we paid him?

GTJason

March 14th, 2011
2:50 pm

Sorry Alabama not Auburn

dawgfan

March 14th, 2011
2:50 pm

This reminds me ESU’s recruitment of Darnell Jefferson in 1993. They were slapped with severe penalties by the NCAA and have never recovered.

Contractor

March 14th, 2011
2:51 pm

Not really sure why this is a violation? What does the rule say? Is this not of the same nature as Alabama giving their recruiting visitors jerseys with their numbers on them? Not sure if the name is on the back, but there is a picture of Crowell, Clowney, and another recruit with their numbers on Alabama jerseys. This crap is so tit for tat.

Fire Frank Wren

March 14th, 2011
2:51 pm

According to the NCAA by-laws, every original, creative, and effective recruiting idea is a violation. Only form letters and pre-recorded statements will be allowed.

The rules are so purposefully vague, ambiguous, and volumnious that coaches cannot reasonably be expected to ascertain on the fly whether a creative idea is a violation or not. It’s gotten out of hand. There only need to be 4 rules: 1. You can only call them, text them, or send them e-mails between this date and that date between this hour and that hour. 2. You can only talk to them in person on your own campus during their designated visit. 3. You can’t give them or anyone connected to them money, Cecil Newton. 4. You can’t give them or anyone connected to them anything of value except a nice meal on-campus, an overnight stay in on-campus housing, and a t-shirt from the bookstore.

Reality

March 14th, 2011
2:51 pm

Is the ‘dream team’ becoming a nightmare?

kydawg

March 14th, 2011
2:52 pm

PETA will probably lobby the NCAA for stiffer penalties because Crowell held up the Bulldog pup…what a joke!!!

DAWG ONE

March 14th, 2011
2:52 pm

just saying – because it promotes blogs like this, which means advertising and gives these guys something to do when there isn’t much going on.

Ah, the Freedom of Information Act does have it’s good points as well as it’s bad. This one is of interest to many in the SE, but these NCAA rules are a little much at times. However, I suppose if they were not in place, there would be all sorts of stuff going on that isn’t going on now.

ClinchCountyCanine

March 14th, 2011
2:53 pm

The Original WDE

How many felonies did the Awbarn thugs tally this weekend?

Ted Striker

March 14th, 2011
2:53 pm

Pretty ticky tack.

Winning. Duh.

March 14th, 2011
2:53 pm

just sayin’…The answer to your question is that the AJC’s sole reason for being is to expose any and everything negative that happens in and around UGA’s football program.

I am sure as soon as the recruiting article sharing this story was posted somebody somwhere said–that has to be a violation! The question is–who is at fault? Richt for lining him up in formation? Crowell for telling the AJC? Or Crowell for telling the AJC?

If only Athens were in Alabama where you don’t have to report any infraction Major or Minor.

Not Quite Winning. Damn.

March 14th, 2011
2:54 pm

That last question should be “Or The AJC for publishing the story?”

schmeckdawg

March 14th, 2011
2:55 pm

What’s going to happen when the NCAAholes find out that UGA has embroidered a jock strap for IC. Will that be a 2 game suspension and 250k fine for CMR? Gimme a break!

Paul H

March 14th, 2011
2:55 pm

Classic NCAA BS. No one knows what a violoation is or isn’t until one has been committed. I think the NCAA makes up violations as they go along.

Lame

March 14th, 2011
2:55 pm

Sounds like Sorority Rush. Did they sing songs for him too?

Jerome

March 14th, 2011
2:56 pm

Yeah- the accounting firm that hired me show a top down shot of a simulated me in a cube. I reported them to the SEC and the AICPA. muther f

ron wild

March 14th, 2011
2:57 pm

seriously? big bold headline for such a non-story. I bet every university does this….

tabloidesque.

Evansdawg

March 14th, 2011
2:57 pm

Who cares???? What a dumb rule! Exactly how is lining up and horsing around with other players consdired an advantage of one school over another??? Its like we’ve got a bunch of third reich diciples governing the NCAA. I guarantee this happens EVERYWHERE.

Bill

March 14th, 2011
2:57 pm

Japan is melting down in radioactive waste and this minor NCAA violation is the top story??????

FedUp

March 14th, 2011
2:57 pm

If you pat a recruit on the shoulder, is that a violation/ Just curious, everything else is.

ClinchCountyCanine

March 14th, 2011
2:57 pm

Alabama Jack

Is your last name OFF?

UGA Advocate

March 14th, 2011
2:58 pm

…..NCAA is full of it….
I’m about sick and tired of all of their sanctions and rules. There is “NO WAY” possible to monitor what takes place when kids are paraded like prized fighter……If the NCAA wasnt making millions$$$$ off of the kids then they would bother to carry out half of there violations.
I say we pay’m (the kid’) and have at it…..Thats what life is all about in the real world..if you’re good you’re compensated, if you are mediocre then you’re on the team…and if you suck, then sorry..you’re cut.
Thats a little stretched, but you get my point.

Buckeye

March 14th, 2011
2:58 pm

While I assume the postion to take yet another day’s beating, let me say (again) that I hope Isaiah Crowell is everything you hope him him to be, on and off the field. Prima Donna’s are not always worth the cost.