UCF Football Penalized for NCAA Recruiting Violations

Jeff LeadbeaterContributor IFebruary 11, 2010

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 29: George O'Leary, head coach of the UCF Knights reacts after holding the Mississippi State Bulldogs to a field goal during the 49th Annual Autozone Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium December 29, 2007 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

The University of Central Florida announced today that it is self-imposing penalties for what the NCAA has described as major recruiting violations in its football program.

According to the NCAA report on the violations (PDF format), two non-coaching football staffers were found to have made illegal calls and texts to a total of 27 prospective student-athletes from June 2007 through February 2009. UCF self-reported the violations on August 5, 2008, initially reporting their former recruiting administrator. In July 2009, they amended the report to include their former director of player personnel.

Neither person was named in the report. Both are currently employed at other schools in similar roles. The NCAA imposed a two-week suspension on the former recruiting administrator, while the former director's current institution self-imposed a two-week suspension on them. The recruiting administrator resigned from UCF in May 2008.

During the investigation, UCF restricted its recruiting activities for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years. Now that the NCAA has ruled against them, they have self-imposed two years of probation, effective today. They are also subject to the NCAA's repeat-violator clause for the next five years, effective today. The NCAA imposed no further recruiting restrictions, and stated that all parties cooperated fully with the investigation.

"The violations that took place are extremely disappointing to me," head coach George O'Leary said to UCFAthletics.com "We run a first-class program and there is no place for this behavior at UCF. I want our fans to know that we acted immediately when we learned about what was going on and worked with the NCAA from the start."