Kentucky Reports NCAA Violation
The University of Kentucky Athletics Association is currently reporting a violation to the NCAA based on impermissible contact with recruits by boosters of the UK program. This violation occurred when several boosters posted on the myspace.com pages of potential UK recruits. These posts encouraged (often in very inappropriate ways) the recruit to choose UK.
Also, someone who refers to himself on myspace.com as ruppcathederal, posted a myspace blog titled “A Must Read if You Are a UK Fan”. This blog, posted on June 7, 2006, instructed all UK fans to post on four different prospects’ myspace pages and tell them why they should come to UK. It would seem reasonable that this blog may account for the greater number of UK posts when compared with other schools.
The University of Kentucky Athletics Department has been very proactive in attempting to limit our exposure to violations and other problems from these interactive personal websites. Mitch Barnhart gathered our current student-athletes together over eight months ago to caution them about the content of their sites if they chose to have one. Our level of awareness of this issue has helped us identify this problem and report it in a timely manner with the NCAA.
We have also reached out to our fans on the message boards on several occasions with rules education efforts including a compliance link on several of the boards to NCAA regulations governing booster activity. The message boards offer a unique opportunity for our fans to discuss UK Athletics within a very large community. However, when it goes beyond discussion between fans and crosses the line into recruiting, we are responsible to the NCAA membership to report a violation and take steps to stop the activity.
In recent years, UK has also had to disassociate the owner of a message board from the athletics department for his participation in recruiting activities and his efforts to organize a recruiting network within the members of his board. We would much prefer to educate our fans, as we are doing, and work cooperatively to make sure violations do not occur.
In that vein, please be aware that NO written, telephonic or in-person communication is permitted between a recruit and a booster of an NCAA institution regardless of the medium. Please note the following paragraph describing the NCAA rule governing this type of contact and clarifying that anyone who encourages a recruit to attend UK is automatically considered a booster.
The NCAA rules which govern the actions that have been deemed impermissible in this instance are: NCAA Bylaw 13.01.4 prohibits a booster from “making in-person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephonic communications with a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or legal guardians.” Many claim that they are not a booster because they do not contribute financially to the University. However, NCAA Bylaw 13.02.13 states that one criteria defining someone as a booster is anyone “who is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution’s executive or athletics administration to be assisting in the recruitment of prospects.”
While we realize that this violation is a result of the actions of a few members of our fan base, we are forced to issue the required cease and desist order as publicly as possible because none of those involved have chosen to identify themselves or take responsibility for their actions.
As a result of this impermissible activity, we are asking that all supporters of the UK program immediately cease and desist any in-person, written or telephonic communication with prospective recruits. This includes but is not limited to contact by: phone, letter, IM, text messaging, posting on message boards, posting on personal web-sites or any other means of communication.
Listed below are the myspace.com names of those who have posted on recruits’ sites of whom we are aware. If you know who any of these people are, please contact them and call their attention to the cease and desist order posted above or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and UK will be happy to contact them directly. Many of those listed below use a different name on the message boards but, hopefully, someone may still be aware of their identity.
If other names become known to us as we investigate further, we will update this list.
As always, the University of Kentucky Athletics Department greatly appreciates the efforts of all members of our fan base who assist us in remaining compliant with NCAA, SEC and UK rules and regulations.