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    Not the time for facetime

    Clemson University Athletic Department has admitted to breaching 15 NCAA regulations—one of which directly involves Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney, and another two that involve his nationally ranked program.
    Each of the 15 violations occurred in the time period between August 2015 and July 31,2016.
    None of violations circumvented what the NCAA classifies as a “Level I” infraction, or “a severe breach of conduct.”
    In the disclosure the University released to the The Associated Press last Tuesday, all the violations except for one were cataloged as “Level III” offenses. These types of incidents are described on the NCAA website as “isolated” and “provide no more than a minimal recruiting, competitive, or other advantage.”
    Swinney’s own isolated incident was an “accidental” FaceTime call made to a prospective new athlete. Coaches are banned from contacting potential recruits until September 1, as stated by NCAA regulation.
    Because of the incident, football staff cannot contact any potential recruits from September 1 to September 15 this year.
    The football program was also held responsible for two other violations.
    The first occurred in October 2015, when two players dropped a one-credit hour, eight-week engineering course and lost their status as full-time students.
    Because the NCAA requires all athletes to be enrolled as full-time students, the University paid a fine of $500 and announced the athletes ineligible. The NCAA later lifted the athlete’s ban.
    The third football infraction concerned a mathematical error.
    In January, the staff was accused of handing out excess travel compensation to prospective new athletes. The school said the program had made a mistake, thinking they could round the reimbursement up to the nearest dollar. The consequence was a reprimand letter.
    Other infractions involved the men’s golf and baseball program.  
    Last August, the assistant coach of the Clemson men’s golf team recruited an outside consultant to privately train two of their players. The consultant also hosted a practice for the whole team.
    Following the infraction, the men’s golf team was banned from the green and any other athletic activity for three weeks.
    Baseball Coach Lee Monte picked up a similar infraction to Swinney’s.
    Monte mistakenly contacted a prospective student-athlete before September 1 of the player’s junior year of high school. When informed that the player was set to graduate in 2018 and not in 2017 like Monte had suspected, the school said the baseball coach reported himself and halted all communication with the potential athlete.
    The baseball program—like football— now has a ban from contacting prospects until September 15.
    Stephanie Ellison, Clemson’s Assistant Athletic Director said that the majority of the incidents were self-reported, and that the infraction report showed Clemson’s “healthy culture of compliance.”
    “As a department, we will continue to educate our constituents on the rules and regulations of the NCAA. However, it is unrealistic to think all violations will go away,” said Ellison, “We encourage our staff to report all violations regardless of how small or insignificant they may appear.”

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