Florida State Assistant Football Coach Violated NCAA Rules in Impermissible Recruiting Contact with Booster, According to Division I Committee on Infractions Agreement

Tallahassee, Florida – A Florida State University assistant football coach has been found to have violated NCAA rules by facilitating an impermissible recruiting contact between a transfer prospect and a booster, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions. As part of the contact, the booster encouraged the prospect to enroll at Florida State and offered an illegal name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal to entice him. Additionally, the assistant coach provided false or misleading information about his involvement in the arranged meeting, violating ethical conduct rules.

The violation occurred after a prospective transfer student-athlete entered the NCAA Transfer Portal and communicated with the assistant coach to arrange an official visit to Florida State. During the visit, the coach transported the prospect and his parents to an off-campus meeting with the booster, who was the CEO of an NIL collective and also a booster. The coach informed the prospect and his parents about the meeting but did not stay for it.

During the meeting, the booster encouraged the prospect to choose Florida State and offered an NIL opportunity worth approximately $15,000 per month for the prospect’s first year at the school. However, the prospect ultimately decided not to enter into an agreement with the booster or receive any compensation.

The meeting with the booster violated several recruiting rules. Boosters are not authorized to have in-person, off-campus contact with prospects, making the meeting an impermissible recruiting contact. Additionally, the booster violated recruiting rules by initiating communication with the prospect and his mother and offering an impermissible recruiting inducement through the NIL opportunity.

Furthermore, the assistant coach violated ethical conduct rules during the investigation by providing false or misleading information regarding his involvement. Although historically such conduct would result in a Level I violation, the unique circumstances of this case led to a Level II violation.

To address the violations, the university, enforcement staff, and assistant coach agreed to a negotiated resolution process. The Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed the case to ensure that the resolution served the best interests of the Association and that the penalties were reasonable. The agreed-upon penalties include two years of probation for the university, a two-year show cause order for the assistant coach, a suspension from the next three regular-season games, and a restriction on recruiting communication. The booster and the NIL collective will face disassociation from the university for three years and one year, respectively.

In addition, the university will pay a fine and face a reduction in football scholarships and official visits, as well as restrictions on football recruiting communications and in-person recruiting days. The exact details of the penalties can be found in the full decision.

The Committee on Infractions, which consists of members from the NCAA membership and the public, reviewed the case. The panel included Tricia Turley Brandenburg, chief hearing officer, Stephen Madva, attorney, and Vince Nicastro, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the Big East Conference.

In conclusion, a Florida State assistant football coach violated NCAA rules by facilitating an impermissible recruiting contact and providing false information. The university and the assistant coach have reached a negotiated resolution with the enforcement staff, resulting in penalties such as probation, show cause order, and disassociation. These penalties aim to address the recruiting violations and promote fair play in the college football landscape.