NCAA Says No Recruiting and Some Schools Are Ignoring This

Dan Raley

In dealing with the global pandemic, the University of Washington and all other college athletic programs have been barred from hosting official and unofficial recruiting visits, contacts and evaluations. All physical interaction is deemed off limits.

Phones calls and text messages, however, remain permissible during the enforced lull.

Yet in college football and basketball, not everyone is playing by these rules.  

"We have heard that recruiting is continuing," Jon Duncan, NCAA vice president of enforcement, told Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde.

Read Forde's story and hear his video about the current state of college athletics and the concerns registered amidst the ongoing health crisis.

Even with explicit directions, it appears some schools still can't help themselves.

With so much at stake in terms of national prestige and financial gain, college football and basketball programs have always been hard to rein in. Almost every school has a history of infractions, large or small, including Washington.

The Huskies have played by the rules for nearly two decades now, since current assistant coach Cameron Dollar on Lorenzo Romar's staff overzealously pursued eventual Gonzaga basketball signee Josh Heytvelt of Clarkson High and North Carolina recruit Marvin Williams of Bremerton High.

Dollar was cited for 23 infractions of excessive contact and suspended for a month without pay. Recruiting restrictions were put in place. 

Former Huskies football coach Rick Neuheisel, now a CBS-TV college football TV analyst, also made some missteps and drew reprimands. 

College basketball currently is dealing with the transfer portal and players changing schools, a routine and mostly above-board engagement. 

Wichita State guard Erik Stevenson recently publicly revealed on his own that he intends to transfer to Washington and Mike Hopkins' program, with this agreement presumably completed long distance because of the virus, though Stevenson hails close by from Lacey, Washington.

The UW has made no official pronouncement about Stevenson changing schools. It's possible he hasn't been able to complete the paperwork and turn it in.

Husky football had hoped to turn its April 25 spring game into a splashy, large-scale event, and use it as a recruiting tool, but it was canceled. The school remains closed to on-campus classes and activities in reaction to the health concerns.

With the abrupt end to spring sports, the NCAA is exploring adding a year of eligibility for athletes impacted by the competition shutdown and cancellation of their seasons.

The video is about virus impact not the NFL, which overlaps with the college football. Washington had to cancel its pro day for Huskies seeking pro careers and wanting to audition their talents next month in front of scouts. 

Meantime, the NCAA has received tips and complaints from around the country about other schools blatantly circumventing rules in football and basketball. Ignoring the directives. Going about business as usual.

The national organization promises its investigators will pursue all offenders, even during this down time, and make them pay later.

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