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Geno Auriemma Accused of Recruiting Violation After Calling Mo'ne Davis

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Dan CarsonTrending Lead WriterJanuary 5, 2017

This week in “Narc News,” a recruiting violation complaint has been filed against University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma citing a recent phone call he made to Taney Dragons pitcher Mo’ne Davis.

Hartford Courant reporter John Altavilla (h/t The Big Lead’s Mike Cardillo) brings news of the complaint, which was filed with the American Athletic Conference. 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 27: Taney Dragons Pitcher Mo'ne Davis tips her hat as she is introduced and recognized before the game between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Penns
Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

The complaint alleges that the Huskies coach broke recruiting rules by calling Davis to congratulate her on an impressive performance at the 2014 Little League World Series.

Auriemma told Altavilla that the phone call occurred after representatives of the Philadelphia 76ers reached out and suggested he congratulate the eighth-grader “because she loves basketball.” The Huskies coach said the call lasted all of two minutes.

“The conversation lasted like two minutes and we hung up,” Auriemma told Altavilla. “And then I was told a school turned us in for a recruiting violation because we are not allowed contact of July 1 before her junior year of high school. ... That’s the world that we live in.”

Auriemma added that he spoke with the Little League World Series communications office prior to contacting Davis and received permission to relay his message.

To recap: A college basketball coach was narc’d on for calling an eighth-grade baseball player and telling her good job throwing those baseballs.

The school pointing the finger at Auriemma remains unknown, as conference rules allow institutions filing complaints to remain anonymous. 

Clearly, whichever program is taking issue with this correspondence believes Auriemma is trying to snake a recruit from the crib. And why should it not? All the hallmarks of tampering are there. 

Davis, a lifelong Huskies fan with aspirations to play professional women’s basketball, was seen wearing a UConn hoodie during the Little League World Series. She even had the audacity to flaunt her inside connections to the program when meeting Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday. 

Or Davis is a kid who loves a successful basketball program and owns some of its merchandise—you know, like a fan or something.

Auriemma says he hasn’t even seen Davis play basketball.

“Under normal circumstances, I would probably not know anything about her until she was in ninth grade,” Auriemma told Altavilla. “I have no idea if the kid is very good, kind of good, not good at all or a superstar or can even reach the basket. How is that a violation?”

UConn maintains that the correspondence between Auriemma and Davis was not a violation, as NCAA rules dictate that young athletes don’t become prospective student athletes until ninth grade.

In any case, we now live in a society where you can be punished for telling kids "good job" or giving homeless teenagers food. Good times!

 

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