This broke late yesterday when the NCAA released their findings in last year's story where it was discovered that the football, softball and golf programs (PDF) had been found to be sending impermissible texts (all texts are apparently impermissible). As LondonRaider has already pointed out, Item C.1.s. on page 12 of the Public Infractions Report, states as follows:
In December 2009, the current head football coach and an assistant football coach sent two impermissible text messages to a prospective student-athlete.
There's a couple of issues here, the first being that Texas Tech had a former head coach in December of 2009, Mike Leach, and had an interim head coach in December of 2009, Ruffin McNeill, but the NCAA uses the word "current head football coach". Since I doubt that the NCAA will provide more clarification, we're left trying to figure this out on our own, and I don't know that I'm going to be able to help. Let's play the "what-if" game. If it was Leach, is it a big deal to me? No, not really. If it was McNeill, is it a big deal to me? No, not really. If it was Tuberville, is it a big deal to me? I guess that depends. Since Tuberville wasn't hired and retained until January of 2010 then is it impermissible for a coaching candidate to send a text message to a high school recruit? I don't know that I'm going to go through the NCAA rules to find out if that's true. It seems like it would be awfully difficult for the NCAA to verify a coach that's not even employed by a university, and I would guess not under the guidelines of the NCAA.
And if the texts were sent in December, as the report states and it was Tuberville, it's not as if he has a NCAA compliance officer that can give him advice about what's permissible and what is not permissible.
What about the fact that blockquoted text doesn't clarify if the head coach or assistant coach sent one text each, or the assistant sent the two texts or the head coach sent two texts? Again, I'll ask you if two text message are a huge deal?
And does it matter if it is the current or former coach? I don't know and if you look closely at Item C.1., it states as follows:
Between April 2007 and March 2010, 23 athletics department employees and the spouse of the current head baseball coach committed secondary violations of NCAA recruiting legislation.
And then the NCAA proceeds to list the violations
Baseball? Is that a typo on the part of the NCAA because with the violations described after the blockquoted text seems to imply that these were all baseball infractions, but that's not at all true. Should those violations have been listed or inferred that they were all part of the baseball program? Now, this looks like a formatting issue as the baseball program was only mentioned three times. In fact, the only other places where baseball mentioned, is C.1.a. (wife of baseball coach made impermissible phone call), C.1.l. (10 impermissible texts by an assistant head coach), and C.1.q. (assistant baseball coach sent 1 impressible text), but am I ready to run off head coach Dan Spencer and his staff for these violations? No, I'm not, which is why this just isn't a big deal to me.
If I'm going to be riled up over 2 text messages or upset then should I be 5 times more upset at 10 impermissible texts? No, I'm not.
Appendix II does go into what the NCAA did after Texas Tech imposed their own penalties, and the only letters of admonishment, which are apparently in a permanent file and very, very serious, were sent to former assistant football coaches, but not any of the former, interim or current head coach were sent letters of admonishment, which leads me to think that they weren't the biggest offenders, no matter who was coaching the team.
Maybe I'm too close to the situation, but it seems like there's been so much worse that's happened with other institutions over the course of the year and this seems like a fairly small blip on the radar. If you were to ask me what would really bother me, then go take a look at what Tennessee's head basketball coach Bruce Pearl did:
Pearl also told them that he was not going to tell anyone about the violation, and he asked they not tell anyone, either. …
The Sept. 9 notification letter involving Pearl’s contract also states that Pearl called a prospect’s father on June 14, 2010, before and after Pearl interviewed with the NCAA. …
Pearl told UT that he called Craft’s father to remind him that he had informed him that coming to his house would be a violation and that he had given him the choice to attend.
And there's more. This isn't me trying to throw stones at another university, but if you want me to be upset at a coach for 2 impermissible texts, or 10, then I'm not your guy and I don't think it's much of a story. If this continues, then yes, I'm upset, but at the very least, Texas Tech was proactive and there were no other sanctions that were imposed other than a 2 year probation. I can live with that.