"According to the agreement, the head coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance because of his personal involvement in the recruiting violation," the NCAA said on Thursday. "The agreement also said the head coach failed to monitor his staff when he did not ensure the program was staying within the allowable number of countable athletically related activity hours."
The infractions started in January 2018—shortly after he took the job in December 2017—and ran through February 2019.
As part of his show-cause order, Fisher is banned from all off-campus recruiting in the upcoming fall period. He fulfilled part of his requirements already when he refrained from contacting any recruits for nine days this past January.
Fisher issued a statement on the ruling:
"As Texas A&M's Head Football Coach, I am responsible for promoting and monitoring for NCAA compliance in our program. While I am disappointed in the violations, including an unintended one that resulted from a conversation with a high school athlete, it is still my responsibility to ensure we are adhering to each and every rule. I am pleased to have this matter completely behind our program and look forward to continuing our efforts to make every aspect of our program one all Aggies can continue to be proud of."
The NCAA also levied program-wide punishments. The Aggies will have 17 fewer days for official visits over the 2019-20 academic year and one fewer paid official visit. The A&M staff was also banned from off-campus recruiting for seven days during the spring period and will be banned for a 10-day stretch in the fall.
The staff is also not allowed to recruit at the high school of the student-athlete involved in the violation through spring of 2021, will be required to complete further recruiting training and the program will be on probation through July 2021 and pay a $5,000 fine.
The recruiting restrictions are clearly a setback for Fisher as he approaches his third season in charge. Texas A&M sits 27th in 247Sports' composite team rankings for 2021. That's only good enough for eighth in the SEC.
The Aggies have time to add to their 2021 class, but they'll be at a disadvantage as they look to climb up into the top 10.