UF probes possible recruiting violation

SEC Media Days
SEC Media Days

Urban Meyer helped recruit gymnast Maranda Smith to UF.

The Tuscaloosa News
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 2:48 p.m.

Florida's compliance office is still gathering information over what could be a possible secondary NCAA violation concerning football coach Urban Meyer's communication with junior college transfer Carl Moore and his girlfriend, UF gymnast Maranda Smith.

"We're gathering information and it would be inappropriate to say anything more at this point," said Jamie McCloskey, UF's senior associate athletic director for compliance.

McCloskey said the possible violation would be considered minor and would not affect Moore's eligibility.

McCloskey said UF self-reports a dozen or so possible minor violations a year to the SEC and NCAA in several sports, and that this one would fall under the same category.

Meyer told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that UF had cleared him of any improper communication with Moore and Smith, but McCloskey said UF is still looking into the matter before sending information to the NCAA.

Moore, a wide receiver and the No. 1 prospect coming out of the junior college ranks, signed with Florida on Dec. 19 and enrolled in classes earlier this month. Smith, who competed for UCLA in 2006, attended Sierra (Calif.) Community College last school year with Moore.

The recruitment of Moore and Smith became an issue after a story appeared in The Gainesville Sun on Jan. 16. In the story, Smith said Meyer began calling her hoping it would help lure Moore to Gainesville if she signed with UF.

"I used to talk to him every day back in November when he was recruiting Carl," Smith said in the story. "He kept asking how Carl was doing, and (he) wanted me to come here and do gymnastics."

Meyer's actions might have violated an NCAA bylaw that limits recruiting athletes in a certain sport to that sport's coaches.

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