Florida’s football program has been placed on a one-year probation by the Division 1 Committee on Infractions.
UF was found in violation of two recruiting contact rules, which received Level II and Level III grades respectively, according to an NCAA report issued Monday. Head coach Dan Mullen was also accused of not complying with NCAA investigations.
The first violation came in pursuit of a Seattle recruit where Mullen and an assistant coach made an off-campus contact with the prospect via text, which is prohibited before a player’s senior year of high school.
The second infraction, considered more severe, involved 127 non-scholastic football players who visited the campus en route to a tournament in Tampa. An assistant coach made several impermissible contacts with the touring players.
Mullen admitted fault for the first violation and agreed that he failed to comply with the investigation.
“Even though this is an isolated matter, I'm still disappointed in the violations outlined in the report,” Mullen said in a release regarding the NCAA’s decision. “We’re going to learn from our mistakes and I’m confident this won’t happen again.”
Along with the year-long probation, Florida stares down the barrel of a number of recruiting violations, including, but not limited to:
One year of probation
Reduced fall 2020 evaluations from 42 to 21
Reduced football evaluation days by 12
Restrictions on all recruiting calls with football prospects from April 15 through May 31
A reduction in the number of football official visits during the 2020-21 academic year by one and in the number of unofficial visits during the 2019-20 academic year by 14
A one-year show-cause order for the head football coach
A UF ban on the head coach recruiting during the first 10 days of the January 2020 contact period
A seven-day, off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff during the spring 2021 off-campus recruiting period
“There is no evidence of systemic compliance issues at Florida,” Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said. “When isolated circumstances occur they are addressed head on and we accept responsibility for our actions, as evidenced by this instance.”
South Carolina committed a similar violation last season, which saw an ex-assistant coach send 13 text messages to a recruit after his visit. The Gamecocks suffered comparable recruiting penalties to the Gators, but actually welcomed an improved 2020 recruiting class to Columbia, South Carolina.
Florida will remain eligible for postseason play in the 2021 season.
Contact Declan Walsh at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @dawalsh_UF