Former LSU OL Coach James Cregg Admits Violating NCAA Rules in Lawsuit Against School

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 20, 2021

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 12: A general view of LSU Tigers helmet before the Head Coaches Press Conference before the College Football Playoff National Championship at the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel on January 12, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Former LSU offensive line coach James Cregg acknowledged violating NCAA rules while employed by the school in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

According to Glenn Guilbeau of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, Cregg told an NCAA official in May he had given gear to a prospective recruit while visiting him, which was also against NCAA rules at the time, during a dead period for recruiting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The admission came as part of Cregg's lawsuit against LSU in which he alleged he was fired without cause.

The Tigers confirmed Cregg's departure in June. Guilbeau shared a portion of a letter from head coach Ed Orgeron to Cregg addressing his ouster: "You also admitted to knowing such contact was impermissible when you engaged in the conduct. This knowing violation of NCAA rules constitutes cause."

Cregg is contending, however, that his admission doesn't amount to a justification of firing him with cause since the NCAA didn't issue any official violations, per Joe Gyan Jr. of the Advocate.

He also said he requested a hearing with LSU and that the school didn't oblige.

LSU was already under the NCAA microscope before Cregg's lawsuit.

According to the Advocate's Wilson Alexander, the NCAA extended its investigation into the Tigers men's basketball and football teams past a previously scheduled deadline of July 31.

Last October, LSU proactively removed eight football scholarships over two years and banned former star Odell Beckham Jr. from its facilities for two years. The university then self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2020 football season. The Tigers finished the year 5-5.

With regard to Cregg's alleged infractions, LSU wouldn't be the first to face external scrutiny for something that transpired during the COVID-19 dead period.

The Athletic's Doug Haller reported in June the NCAA was looking into whether Arizona State brought high school players onto its campus in contravention of the rules. Brett McMurphy of Action Network reported the NCAA is also investigating whether Nebraska head coach Scott Frost and other staffers hosted off-campus workouts at a time when organized workouts were prohibited.