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Oklahoma Releases 18 Months of Secondary Violations

Ryan Aber of the Oklahoman on Oklahoma’s release of secondary violation records dating back to May 2012:

The violations range from the routine, coaches sending texts or making calls outside of the designated allowed contact times, to the absurd. Three athletes had to donate $3.83 each to a charity of their choice in order to be reinstated after they were served more than the allowable portion at a graduation banquet.

The violations included a recruit on an official visit charging wireless Internet access at the hotel to the school through her hotel bill, a hand-drawn picture on an envelope sent to a player who was verbally committed and a voluntary practice on a travel day.

Football had the most violations and most of those involved impermissible phone calls and text messages. In total the violations cost the staff 11 weeks of telephone contact with recruits and some of those weeks included bans on sending written correspondence (letters and emails) to recruits as well. You can understand why Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops wants the contact rules enforced more consistently. But it is hard to see why Stoops would be ok with recruiting for his program being distrupted so regularly by seemingly random occurrences like an assistant texting a recruit’s father for directions.

Contrast the 21 football violations with the two in men’s basketball, one of which was not even caused by men’s basketball coaches. Removing rules about the frequency and form of permissible communication with recruits eliminates this hassle for everyone, coaches and administrators alike. Maybe a “free-for-all” is not the answer for the sport, but neither are the current communication rules.

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