The NCAA has slapped a 2-year probation on the athletic department of West Virginia for violations in 14 sports, including the sending of illegal text messages and making of illegal phone calls.
According to the NCAA, a first division infractions committee found out that coaches of 14 sports called parents and prospects and even sent them text messages from June 2010 to February 2013. This happened mostly in football, women’s gymnastics, and women’s basketball.
An assistant coach stands responsible for most of the violations in the women’s gymnastics, as a result of which he now faces a show-cause penalty of one year and will not be able to recruit during a signing period of 30 days. He is also required to attend a regional rules seminar organized by the NCAA.
Many coaches who stand accused of violating rules say that there is a misunderstanding. The NCAA said: “Additionally, the school did not fully understand how to use compliance software it purchased to monitor phone and text activity. It wasn’t until the software company updated the software that the school learned of the violations.”
The violations took place when West Virginia was already experiencing a two-year probation because of a previous case regarding off season coaching and the presence of non-coaching staff on the field.
Keli Cunningham, the associate athletic director of the school, said that the school accepts the NCAA’s report and takes it very seriously. He also said that none of the coaches violated rules on purpose with the intention of gaining “significant recruiting advantage.”