During a college sports roundtable that aired on ESPN, former Florida coach Urban Meyer proposed that “willful” secondary violations should result in a coach being suspended for at least one game.
It was a strong statement. And it made me think to look back to the four secondary violations that the Florida football program committed under Meyer’s leadership between 2009 and 2010.
One violation involved impermissible protective gear, a minor offense. But three involved posting messages on a recruits Facebook page, and one was reported by a whistle-blower from a rival SEC school. Those three violations provided direct recruiting advantages to Florida.
Of course, Florida could have appealed whether those mistakes were “willful.” But under Meyer’s proposal. it would have resulted in his suspension of at least one game, possibly more.
In basketball, under Meyer’s proposal, Florida coach Billy Donovan would have been suspended at least once for allowing recruits to speak to former players on the phone. An unnamed assistant on Donovan’s staff also would have been suspended for the “bump rule” which involves having contact with a recruit during the July evaluation non-contact period.
UF compliance director Jamie McCloskey even admitted in an article by the Sun’s Robbie Andreu that Florida probably led the SEC in secondary violations.
Bottom line, coaches are going to test the margins of the rulebook. Several college basketball coaches, including Donovan, have told me “sometimes, as coaches, we’re our own worst enemy.” To suggest that minor violations, including those that result in recruiting advantages, should result in coaching suspensions is a little harsh. Given the major scandals at Miami, Ohio State, North Carolina and Tennessee, the NCAA has more pressing matters to worry about.
What are your thoughts?