NCAA says Meyer contacting recruit is not a violation, Kiffin apologizes

By: Wes Boling Email
By: Wes Boling Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) [5:45 p.m.] -- In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Lane Kiffin offered this apology:

“I've been made aware by the Southeastern Conference that my comments this morning at a breakfast with our donors violated a conference policy.

"In my enthusiasm for our recruiting class, I made some statements that were meant solely to excite those at the breakfast.

“I apologize to Commissioner Mike Slive and the SEC, including Florida AD Jeremy Foley and coach Urban Meyer. My comments were not intended to offend anyone at the University of Florida.”

------

Knoxville (WVLT) [3:23 PM] - In response to our inquiry, The NCAA sent us the following e-mail answer:

"It is not a violation of NCAA rules for a coach to contact a student athlete while they are on an official visit to another school. I recommend contacting the SEC for conference rules regarding contact, but generally speaking, it is not a violation of NCAA rules. Bylaw 13.1.3 outlines the specific NCAA telephone contact rules."

Christopher Radford, NCAA Assistant Director of Public and Media Relations



READ: NCAA Division I Bylaws (pdf)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Signing day has passed, but the bullets are still flying between Tennessee and Florida.

Thursday morning at a recruiting celebration banquet, Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin accused Florida's Urban Meyer of a recruiting violation in the recruitment of Pahokee, Fla. wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson.

Kiffin's allegation: That Meyer repeatedly called Richardson while he was on his official visit to UT.

"I'm gonna turn Florida in right here in front of you," Kiffin told the crowd at the Knoxville Convention Center. "While Nu'Keese was on campus, his phone kept ringing. One of the coaches says, 'who's that?' And he said, Urban Meyer."

"I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn't get him," Kiffin said.

Kiffin says football coaches are not permitted to contact a prospect while he is on an official visit to another school's campus.

But the NCAA says what Meyer allegedly did is probably not a violation.

"It is not a violation of NCAA rules for a coach to contact a student athlete while they are on an official visit to another school," NCAA spokesperson Christopher Radford said. "I recommend contacting the SEC for conference rules regarding contact, but generally speaking, it is not a violation of NCAA rules."

The UT Athletics Department says they do not plan to report Meyer's texting.

The Sports Overtime team called Florida's media relations office for a comment but has not yet received a response.

Nu'Keese Richardson is a 5-foot-10, 165-pound receiver from Pahokee, Fla. He committed to Florida on May 30, 2008, but signed with UT after visiting Knoxville the weekend before signing day.

Richardson was rated as the No. 68 overall recruit and the No. 9 wide receiver in the 2009 class by Rivals.com. He helped lead Pahokee to three consecutive state titles.

He threw for 1,020 yards and 14 touchdowns at quarterback as a senior, while also catching 22 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 234 yards and three scores.

Richardson is one of two Florida commitments who decided to sign with Tennessee. Paris, Tenn. athlete Marsalis Teague also signed with the Vols.

At the recruiting banquet, Kiffin praised Richardson's speed and athleticism, calling him a "home-run hitter."


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  • by Steve Location: Woodbridge on Sep 17, 2009 at 08:28 AM
    It looks like Al Davis was right about Lane Kiffen. The guy is a child, who says anything that pops into his head at the moment. This unfortunate trait plus his obvious lack of coaching ability will lead to a very long, very ugly season for the Tennessee Volunteers. I don't expect Urban Meyers and the Florida Gators to show him much mercey.
  • by Jen Location: TN on Feb 9, 2009 at 09:31 PM
    Ya know, when they let Fulmer go, I was upset that they would let a man of his character go. But, I figured, it was a bad year, they are bringing in someone who MIGHT be able to fire this team up. While I didnt jump on the Kiffin wagon, I did say lets support the new coach. But I am confused how letting go of someone with Fulmers character, and bringing in someone who is making UT look like a joke is a good thing. I now have to listen to my gator-loving brother laugh at the way UTs new coach is making UT look like fools. Isnt there a clause in his contract that says he cannot bring shame to UT?
  • by GO Location: GATORS!!! on Feb 9, 2009 at 03:34 PM
    i can only wounder what kiffin was thinking.i mean did he not see what urban did 2 the UGA last season?i mean come on ur supposed 2 be there help out the school!!! all u did was gave urban something 2 put up on the wall and think about all year till u and ur vols have 2 come down 2 the swamp. leats see if u make it longer this season than u did last season....GOOD LUCK YALL WILL NEED IT!!!
  • by Kathy Location: Orlando, FL on Feb 7, 2009 at 11:42 PM
    So it is against SEC rules to bash another coach or team within the SEC? When has Meyer been reprimanded for that? He does it all the time. (See Mark Richt and UGA)
  • by alberto Location: gator country on Feb 7, 2009 at 03:49 PM
    what Bulmer took years to build this ignorant is shattering in weeks ... keep on defying coaches and you're gonna be out before the season starts... UT directors will realize you're a punk, bad example for an institution ..
  • by William C Location: Walland on Feb 6, 2009 at 11:22 PM
    DID URBAN MEYER KNOW THAT RICHARDSON WAS IN KNOXVILLE AT THE TIME HE TEXT MESSAGED HIM. THAT'S MY QUESTION? AND DID KIFFIN KNOW THAT IT WAS NOT AGANIST THE NCAA RULES TO TEXT MESSAGE A RECRUIT. KIFFIN DID NOT PREDICT WINS AN LOSSES IN HIS PRESS CONFERENCE. BUT SAID THEY WOULD NOT BE OUT WORKED AND LOOKS LIKE THE KIFFINS AND THE ASSISTANTS ARE LIVING UP TO HIS WORDS. GO VOLS AND I WILL BE AT THE ORANGE AND WHITE GAME FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE KING JOHNNY LEFT, MY CHILD HOOD HERO. ON THE HILL AS HE WAS AN ALL AMERICAN TAILBACK.WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. THANKS FOR THE PRIVILAGE OF THIS POSTING.
  • by Michael Location: Clanton, Alabama on Feb 6, 2009 at 09:38 PM
    It's hard to take an unbiased position since I'm an Alabama fan..but if you watch Lance's diarrhea of the mouth in the video, you understand why Nick Saban had a policy for his assistants not to talk. I understand coaches want to fire up the troops, but that was truly pathetic. Only idiots burn bridges like that. At some point Lance will get a call for a head coaching job..doesn't he expect the AD of that school to talk to the people he has worked under. I think many would be surprised about the circumstances that caused him to leave Alabama. It's more about things that happened in his personal life.
  • by Lynn Location: Knoxville on Feb 6, 2009 at 07:05 PM
    RB - If you watch the video, Lane Kiffin said that the recruit said Friday that he wasn't visiting Tennessee "so the folks down there wouldn't think they still had him." So, Urban's wrong for calling him in Knoxville when the recruit said he wasn't going to Knoxville. Is Urban psychic now? And, insecure? 2 National Championship rings doesn't spell insecurity.
  • by Fred Location: NY on Feb 6, 2009 at 06:19 PM
    Kiffin is a piece of work. I get the Brash image stuff, but you need to engage your brain every once in a while. Why would a coach slam the town, HS and coach of one of their new recruits? Good luck recruiting the Muck or S. FL for that matter. The whole game he played on UF and LSU with telling recruits to lie, etc. was pretty low class. Nuke Richardson's education at UT has already started, Kiffin taught him how to lie. What a class guy...
  • by RB Location: Brentwood on Feb 6, 2009 at 05:53 PM
    Can someone please tell me why "Urban the Great" felt it necessary to call a recruit while he was in Knoxville? A little harrassment from an insecure Gator coach maybe? And...........hmmmmm.......with whom did the recruit sign?

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