When Oklahoma came to visit Ohio State on September 9th, there were many opportunities to impress future recruits for Football and Basketball. The Buckeyes invited Micah Parsons, Luther Muhammad, Elijah Weaver and Jaedon LeDee to visit the university during that game with the hopes of landing these highly touted recruits. Parsons was visiting the football program while Muhammad, Weaver and LeDee were visiting Chris Holtmann and the basketball team.
College GameDay was on campus for the highly anticipated game and that included Ohio State alumni host Kirk Herbstreit and Ohio State alum guest picker Eddie George. However, as reported by the According to the Lantern, The recruits naturally went on set to talk with and meet Herbstreit and George and this caused a recruiting violations.
The alleged violation occurred when the recruits entered the GameDay stage and met Herbstreit, who is a member of the media. Once they were reported by the football team, they self imposed a punishment for themselves and stopped their recruitment of Parsons (a top 10 recruit) and suspended recruiting assistant Ed Terwilliger for one game.
As reported by the Lantern, even though the football team reported this violation and self imposed a punishment the NCAA agreed with, the basketball team did not. They said they would not visit the set again for the 2017-’18 season and letters of education were sent to the basketball team and to College GameDay. This punishment was dubbed as less significant to the NCAA then the football team’s self imposed punishment.
Also, the basketball team did not stop their recruitment of the three players and Muhammad and LeDee committed to the program a short time after. Weaver later committed to USC.
The NCAA felt that the self imposed sanctions for the football team were sufficient and did not give anything else to them, but they felt that the basketball team did not punish themselves enough. The NCAA hit Ohio State with three separate violations including suspending director of player development Scoonie Penn for one game, who allowed the players to go on the set, they took away two in person recruiting days and declared the recruits temporarily ineligible and Ohio State would have to apply for reinstatement.
As reported by the Lantern and according to David Ridpath, a former compliance director at Marshall, this is just a formality and the players eligibility for the 2018-19 season is not at risk. Ridpath said “ I’d be stunned if it’s not done in a little while, but certainly it would be done by the season and they don’t really have anything to worry about.”
This seems to a very minor violation and should not hurt the Buckeyes too severely as the players are likely to be reinstated very shortly. However, it is a learning experience for the program and recruiting guidelines.