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Stanford assistant screws up

I found something interesting recently when I was checking my Google alerts.

Stan­ford assis­tant Greg Roman sta­ted Thurs­day night by e-mail that he has not been con­tac­ted by Van­der­bilt offi­cials amid a report that he is expec­ted to inter­view for the Com­mo­do­res' foot­ball head coaching vacancy Friday.

Asked if he could con­firm or deny a story pos­ted on Thurs­day sta­ting he was set to inter­view, Roman wrote: "(I) was busy today rec­rui­ting US Army All-Americans Miles Shu­ler and Anthony Sarao in New Jer­sey. Stan­ford com­mit Sarao's high school is get­ting ready to play in tomorrow's non-public state cham­pionship game at Rut­gers Sta­dium. Coach Roman has not been con­tac­ted by Van­der­bilt at this time."

That quote is from a Google web page cache, because the post it was included in has completely disappeared off the Tennessean's website. Either their Vanderbilt beat writer invented it out of thin air, someone hacked Greg Roman's email account, or he (or his lawyer or something, from the above wording) screwed up and asked the reporter to cover it up after the fact. What's the upside in including that level of detail?

The comments shouldn't have happened because of NCAA bylaw 13.10.2.

13.10.2 Comments Before Signing. Before the signing of a prospective student-athlete to a National Letter of Intent or an institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid, a member institution may comment publicly only to the extent of confirming its recruitment of the prospective student-athlete. The institution may not comment generally about the prospective student-athlete’s ability or the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution’s team; further, the institution is precluded from commenting in any manner as to the likelihood of the prospective student-athlete’s signing with that institution. Violations of this bylaw do not affect a prospective student-athlete’s eligibility and are considered institutional violations per Constitution 2.8.1. (Revised: 1/14/97)

This rule is why Rutgers athletics can say things like "we're not recruiting Zack Stoudt" or "we're not recruiting Kamran Joyer," but Greg Schiano would never comment to the media about any recruit that had not yet signed a letter of intent (or enrolled early).

Not having a background in compliance, after reading this rule I cannot be sure whether they were an explicit violation. It is entirely possible that Schiano and other coaches make it a blanket policy not to comment at all on unsigned recruits in order to guard against slipping up and making inadvertent violations. Clearly though, something had to happen for the original quote/article to disappear from the internet.IIRC, there have been similar incidents in the past, so it's hard to say. If this was a violation then the punishment will almost certainly be a slap on the wrist.

Oh, and for the record, Roman was lying.

edit: when looking for evidence of recruiting violations, one's #1 go-to option should always be Lane Kiffin.

The post was up for about an hour during the afternoon before being removed by Tennessee officials. It read: "It's a beautiful day in Knoxville, Tennessee today. I was so exited to hear that J.C. Copeland committed to play for the Vols today!"

NCAA rules prohibit coaches and athletic department employees from commenting about unsigned prospects or publicizing them in any way.