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WBN Nightcap: UK Self-Reports Secondary Violations


This month the University of Kentucky reported several recruiting violations to the NCAA, three of which involve the football team.   They are listed below. Before you listen to a Louisville fan talking about UK playing dirty, these are secondary violations. Alabama recently reported twenty-seven of them. Repercussions are unlikely, especially with UK self-reporting the violations. The main point of interest here is the violation involving David Armstrong who resigned last week. There were whispers that it wasn’t a voluntary resignation and this information may lend credence to that. Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal was the first to report.

Football – Level I Secondary
Offensive coordinator Randy Sanders called a prospect, failed to log it in the coaches’ system (UK’s report said because he was in the process of switching from a Blackberry to an iPhone) and former assistant Tee Martin called the same recruit that same week because he didn’t see it logged. A system UK uses called Recruiting Radar allows phone records to be uploaded and cross-checked, and it revealed the mistake after the fact, so UK self-reported. Later, Sanders texted the father of a recruit twice to inform him that he couldn’t make a scheduled visit to a recruit because of the death of his own father. This was before the NCAA changed its rules barring coaches from texting. A third violation came when Joker Phillips got a text from a number he didn’t recognize and texted back “who is this sorry” – only to find out it was a 2012 recruit. Phillips reported himself. Sanders and Phillips both received a “letter of admonishment” and the football staff refrained from calling the involved prospects for 14 days.

Football – Level I Secondary
David Armstrong, director of football administration, used the ribbon board inside Commonwealth Stadium in conjunction with a highlight film on the scoreboard as part of a presentation during a recruit’s official visit. Armstrong visited UK’s compliance office on Nov. 30, 2011, to ask what was allowed by NCAA rules and he was informed that only the scoreboard could be used for showing highlights – and nothing else could be used, including ribbon boards. That interpretation was emailed to the football staff, including Armstrong. But on Dec. 7, Joker Phillips was speaking to Heather McAtee, assistant athletic director for academics and eligibility, and commented that it was “great that they could show the highlight video on the scoreboard” and that since it was dark and the stadium lights were off, “the ribbon board provided enough lighting for everyone on the field to be able to see.” Armstrong had violated NCAA Bylaw which describes activities allowed during a recruit’s official visit. Armstrong was issued a letter of admonishment.

Football – Level II Secondary
In reviewing receipts from football official visits on March 4, 2011, a UK compliance officer noticed that the name Deb Riggs was listed as being present at two meals. It was discovered that Riggs is defensive coordinator Rick Minter’s girlfriend. UK’s report on the violation says there is “no legislative exception for non-university people other than spouse and children to be present during an off-campus official visit meal.” The cost of the two meals ($78.56) was paid back to the athletic department. The related NCAA bylaw was communicated with all coaches at the April 2011 compliance meeting and the football staff was reminded which individuals are permitted at off-campus meals for official visits.