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NCAA declares Geno Auriemma’s phone call to Mo’ne Davis a secondary violation

Sep 4, 2014, 7:23 PM EST

Geno Auriemma Geno Auriemma

Wednesday it was reported that an unnamed school turned in UConn head coach Geno Auriemma for his phone call to Philadelphia little leaguer Mo’ne Davis during the Little League World Series. Originally it was thought that, since Davis is in the eighth grade, the call did not violate any NCAA rules because she wasn’t considered to be a “recruitable athlete.” However that isn’t the case, and on Thursday it was reported by the Hartford Courant that the NCAA has determined the phone call to be a secondary violation of NCAA rules.

The phone call was deemed to be a violation of NCAA bylaw 13.1.3.1, which states that in women’s basketball a phone call cannot be made to an individual (or their parent or guardian) prior to September 1 of their junior year of high school. The key word in that bylaw is “individual,” which has a broader definition than if the phrase “recruitable athlete” were used.

It’s safe to say that UConn athletic director Warde Manuel was none too thrilled with the NCAA’s decision, despite the fact that the “penalty” for most secondary violations is simply some more education on the rules.

“Prior to attempting to reach Davis, Coach Auriemma checked with the UConn compliance department and was advised such a call would be permissible since Davis is not considered a prospective student-athlete by the NCAA and the call was to be congratulatory rather than recruiting in nature.

“While UConn will continue to adhere to the NCAA and conference rules, I believe that upon request from a friend to Geno, a proud Philadelphian, to call a young lady representing the City of Brotherly Love who had accomplished historic feats in the Little League World Series, should not constitute a violation especially due to the fact that NCAA rules do not classify Mo’ne as a prospective student-athlete.”

As noted above, a secondary violation isn’t a crippling blow to a program by any means. Maybe a conversation about how to not run afoul of certain rules will occur, but not much else.

  1. cdawg1969 - Sep 4, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    How silly is this? C’mon man!

  2. titansbro - Sep 4, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Auriemma is an arrogant prick, but this is just stupid. This rat should be ashamed.

  3. jimr10 - Sep 4, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Geno cheating again.

  4. sailbum7 - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    This is a little absurd. The phone call had nothing to do with UConn trying to recruit Davis. This was simply a coach who happens to be from Philly calling up a kid from that city to congratulate her on a great performance in the Little League World Series. The NCAA has far more important things to do than to look for idiotic and petty technical violations to give someone a hard time about. The NCAA should focus on real issues, not nonsense like this.

  5. bloope - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Just posted my thoughts on this on my site. This is about the most ridiculous thing ever. I don’t know whats worse… The fact that somebody turned him in or the fact that the NCAA is acknowledging it.

  6. brandontroutman - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    The NCAA need to realize coaches are humans and people first. It’s such a crock to get a violation for this, even if it’s a secondary violation.

    • witchrunner - Sep 5, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      I realize that it’s not the way the NCAA does things, but it seems to me that since the coach did go to the school’s compliance department (they really have one?), the appropriate response by the NCAA would have been to send the department a letter informing them that for future reference, this should be treated as a violation.

      I wonder if he knew the girl or her family, would it still be considered a violation?

  7. mt10425 - Sep 5, 2014 at 6:52 AM

    The complaining school needs to be identified.

    • witchrunner - Sep 5, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      That was my first thought too! After all, if they want integrity in the system, all recruits should also know who the tattletale schools are so they can make informed decisions.

  8. tominma - Sep 6, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    This is exactly what is wrong with the NCAA. While they’re letting the big 5 conferences to essentially become minor league football/basketball teams by providing more money to the players, THEN they get all upset when the home state basketball coach calls a little girl home state hero for her GREAT performance in the Little League World Series. I went sour at NCAA athletics a qhile ago because of their hypocrisy!

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