The NCAA, where ignorance of the law IS an excuse

The ink was barely dry on the regulation preventing coaches from sending written scholarship offers to high school juniors when Ole Miss’ staff violated it with seven recruits.

… The school reported the violations in an Oct. 10 letter to the Southeastern Conference. It said that a letter, signed by coach Houston Nutt, extended a scholarship to seven juniors on Sept. 14.

But NCAA legislation enacted on Aug. 1, 2010, prohibits written scholarship offers to juniors.

In accepting the school’s self-imposed penalty for the transgression, the NCAA sent a warning.

In a Nov. 30 letter, the NCAA accepted UM’s version of the events as a secondary violation and took no further action. But it also offered this warning: “… please note that future similar violations may result in more significant penalties, including suspension of coaching-related activities for one or more contests.”

The Nuttster seems unconcerned.

… Nutt isn’t worried.

“I think the NCAA knows where our heart was and where our mind was on this thing, and I feel good about what was said,” Nutt said.

Nutt attributed the violation to a mistake, saying the offers were inadvertent and not a way to gain an advantage.

And why should he be?

I’m on the rules committee, and I understand where we’re going with secondary violations and I agree 100 percent,” Nutt said. “The coaches that are trying to get an advantage by doing secondary violations, they’re going to be punished. There’s no question about it, and that’s the way it should be.  [Emphasis added.]

“… That was not the intent of what we’re trying to do. It was very inadvertent. It’s a brand new rule. This rule just started.”

That’s not just a case of the fox guarding the hen house.  That’s the fox knowing when the farmer makes his rounds.



Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

13 responses to “The NCAA, where ignorance of the law IS an excuse

  1. South FL Dawg

    He’s ignorant yet he’s on the rules committee. You’d have to be an idiot or on the take to believe that.

    Nutt has always crossed the line and college ball would be better off without him. I’m just waiting on karma.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Agreed. The title of your post conflicts with your wrap up line. This isn’t ignorance of the law; it’s intentional feigned ignorance.


    • Do you really buy Ohio State’s ignorance defense? The NCAA did. This situation is cut from the same cloth.


      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Oh I agree with you. The NCAA let ’em both cop to ignorance when my beagle could tell they knew what they were doing. I just thought the title of the post gave them credit for sincere ignorance.


  3. Connor

    What does a written offer even represent? Is it at all binding to the school? If not, who cares?
    I’m not defending Nutt, but my understanding is that none of this stuff was binding to either side until a letter of intent was received, and even then it’s pretty much only binding to the player, not the school. Are early written offers a real hot-button recruiting issue, in the big picture?


    • South FL Dawg

      I understand your point but if you’re the only one doing it you have that kid’s undivided attention. If everybody could do the same thing it would be different.


  4. walter sobchak

    how do you “inadvertantly offer” a scholly?
    sounds analogous to “i inadvertantly slept with her”.


  5. Yes. Karma even hit their basketball team. Just Nutt watching the game did it.


  6. Will Trane

    Like I’ve said before. Like I suggested for the Dawg recruiting program. “It is better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission”. Violations do not mean anything, especially if you want to feed your family for the next couple of seasons.


  7. hoodawg

    Houston Nutt on the Rules Committee is like China on the UN Human Rights Council – their very presence delegitimizes the institutions. Of course, in both cases, there wasn’t much legitimacy to de-.