Alabama self-reported 13 violations of NCAA Level III and IV rules in the 12-month period that ended June 30, nine fewer than in the previous year, according to a document posted Friday on the school’s athletics website.
Of those, eight involved phone calls, texts, emails or social media posts directed at prospective student-athletes or their families either before contact was allowed due to the prospect’s age or during periods when recruiting contact was not permitted.
The NCAA moved to a four-level violation structure in 2013. Level III violations are considered breaches of conduct “that are isolated or limited in nature” and “do not include more than a minimal impermissible benefit,” according to the NCAA website. Level IV violations are “incidental issues” that are inadvertent, isolated or technical in nature “and result in a negligible, if any, competitive advantage.”
The posted document does not address whether Alabama reported any more serious Level I or II violations, or whether allegations of any serious violations were investigated during the past year.
Of those violations that did not involve phone calls, text messages or the like, Alabama baseball twice failed to provide a day off for players “during an institutional vacation period,” with the violation reported late last month; walk-on members of the rowing team participated in two practices without signing drug-testing consent form; women’s basketball graduate student manager served without being a full-time graduate student; a men’s tennis player was provided travel expenses to attend an away competition while ineligible; and the diving coach allowed enrolled prospects to participate in tryouts prior to submitting required documents verifying their enrollment status and medical clearance.
The Alabama athletics administration issued nine letters of admonishment to coaches and staff members. Three were issued to coaches in women’s soccer, two to coaches in gymnastics, one each to coaches in men’s tennis, baseball and women’s swimming and one to a staff member in women’s softball.
Women’s soccer had the most violations with three: one involving a pocket dial cell phone call, one for a coach calling the prospect of a father “whom he believed was old enough to receive telephone calls” and one for an email reply to a prospect prior to the permissible contact period.
Gymnastics reported two violations: one for a pocket dial to a recruit prior to the allowed contact period and one for a text response to a recruit who had not yet reached the age of permissible contact.
Only one violation involved the Crimson Tide football program: an assistant coach responding to a text message last July from an unknown source, which turned out to be a parent of a 2019 prospect, according to the report. The coach reported the violation to the compliance office.
Men’s basketball had a violation in March when a player used the Twitter handle of a prospect in a social media post. The tweet was deleted and both players and staff received rules education.