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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Meyer possibly involved with secondary recruiting violation

The UF compliance office is currently gathering information about a possible secondary recruiting violation involving Gators football coach Urban Meyer and his communication with a junior college transfer and his girlfriend, a Gators gymnast.

According to a Jan. 16 article in The Gainesville Sun, gymnast Maranda Smith said Meyer called her about signing with UF in hopes of luring her boyfriend, Carl Moore, a five-star wide receiver from Sierra (Calif.) College, to Gainesville. Moore signed his letter of intent with the Gators on Dec. 19 and enrolled in classes earlier this month. Smith competed for UCLA but transferred to Sierra last year before enrolling at UF.

"I used to talk to him every day back in November when he was recruiting Carl," Smith said in the story. "He kept asking how Carl was doing, and (he) wanted me to come here and do gymnastics."

There are two issues at hand: The first is that coaches are limited to recruiting athletes in the sport they coach; the second is the timeframe in which coaches can contact recruitable athletes more than once per week.

The compliance office has been gathering information about the incident for about a week or two, said Jamie McCloskey, UF's associate athletics director of compliance and sports administration. Once the office is done with the investigation, it will write a report to give to the Southeastern Conference.

"We have a duty obligation to look at everything and anything that's been reported," McCloskey said Tuesday. "We're trying to find out if this occurred, and if it did occur, what does it mean?"

Smith did not respond to an e-mail, but her mother, Patricia, said Tuesday evening that her daughter had never mentioned that Meyer called her. Patricia did say her daughter called Meyer once when Moore went on a recruiting visit and was stuck at an airport.

Patricia also pointed out that the Gators had recruited her daughter when she was a junior in high school in 2005, and her college decision came down to UF and UCLA. Smith contacted UF coach Rhonda Faehn this past December about joining the Gators.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Meyer met with McCloskey last week and left the office thinking he had committed no recruiting violations. Meyer is on the road recruiting and could not be reached for comment.

The incident is considered a secondary violation, and McCloskey said UF deals with about 15 to 20 secondary violations on average every year. It is a relatively minor infraction, and McCloskey did not say what type of penalty Meyer would face if a violation did occur.

"That's like three steps ahead of where we are," McCloskey said. "We're not even close to that point yet."

McCloskey said there is no timetable for a reaching a conlcusion but that the compliance office hopes to have it wrapped up in a week or two.

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