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October 23, 2013 Wednesday
459 words
Hefty fine for future Miami text, phone violations
Paul Myerberg, @PaulMyerberg, USA TODAY Sports

Hold the phone.

As part of the University of Miami's self-assessed penalties related to the school's booster-related scandal, assistant coaches across all sports will pay a bundle for calls and text messages that violate the NCAA's rules regarding electronic communication.

The case against Miami cited impermissible text messaging between coaches and prospective recruits ranging from football through non-mainstream sports such as women's volleyball and rowing.

Under the school's self-imposed sanctions, any staff member who sends an impermissible text to a prospective athlete will be fined a minimum of $100 a message, and coaches will be suspended from recruiting activities for seven days.

And you thought your texting and phone package was expensive.

The decision was motivated by the university's efforts to convince the NCAA that it understood the significance of the allegations that surfaced in 2011 regarding disgraced former booster Nevin Shapiro.

"That's something that administratively we felt was what we needed to do to recognize the situation and the seriousness of it, and I guess the level of commitment we have to being compliant as a program," athletics director Blake James said Tuesday.

"I think that was a step to just really show that we're serious about compliance at the University of Miami and we're going to take steps that may be unprecedented."

According to the NCAA's findings, a former assistant football coach, current Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, sent 41 impermissible text messages despite being aware of NCAA bylaws prohibiting such communication.

Under the new penalty for impermissible electronic contact, Hurtt's violations alone would have led to a $4,100 fine.

Also self-reported by Miami, from Sept. 7, 2007, through Jan.7, 2010, football staff members sent 120 text messages to 34 prospects in violation of recruiting bylaws. That would have resulted in $12,000 in fines.

From Oct. 19, 2007, to March13, 2010, coaches in women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, women's swimming and diving, women's soccer, men's and women's track and field, baseball and women's rowing sent another 31 impermissible text messages to 13 prospects.

Perhaps the most blatant case of impermissible electronic communication occurred at Oklahoma, where former basketball coach Kelvin Sampson and his staff were found to have made 577 impermissible contacts (texts and phone calls) with recruits. If those rule violations occurred under Miami's current penalties, they would have brought $57,700 in fines. At Indiana, where he served from 2006 to 2008, Sampson was found to have made at least 100impermissible contacts. Sampson's five-year show-cause penalty is set to expire next month.

More on Miami penalties, 12C

October 23, 2013

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