Texas A&M, Fisher punished by NCAA; penalties stem from recruiting violations

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The NCAA announced on Thursday that Texas A&M will be placed on one year probation and head coach Jimbo Fisher was given a six-month show-cause order that will go through the end of the 2020 calendar year.

According to an NCAA statement, the rules violations occurred between January 2018 and February 2019 according to an agreement released by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions.

“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,” Fisher said in a statement released by A&M. “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.”

A&M, Fisher and the NCAA agreed that Fisher along with former Aggie assistant Jay Graham, currently the Tennessee running back coach, had impermissible contact with a prospect and as a part of the resolution, A&M has agreed to end recruitment of the prospect.

Graham was also given a six-month show-cause order prompting Tennessee to release a statement.

“During the process of hiring Coach Jay Graham, we were made aware of the circumstances at his previous institution, and we vetted it thoroughly in accordance with NCAA and SEC bylaws,” the statement read. “We established and maintain extremely high confidence in Coach Graham’s commitment to compliance and are proud to have him on our staff.”

The NCAA also prohibited A&M to recruit any prospect from that recruit’s high school through the 2021-22 academic year.

A&M’s football program was also found to have exceeded activity time limits by seven hours during multiple weeks in 2018.

The Aggie football program was previously placed on five years probation by the NCAA and prohibited from playing a televised game or in a bowl game in 1994.

A&M is scheduled to open the season on Sept. 5 against Abilene Christian.

Penalties approved by the NCAA Committee on Fractions against Texas A&M:

  • One years of probation.
  • A fine of $5,000.
  • A reduction in football official visits by 17 days during the 2019-20 academic year.
  • An off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff for November 2019, which reduced the permissible evaluation days for the 2019-20 academic year by 19.
  • A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 spring off-campus recruiting period and a 10-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 fall off-campus recruiting period.
  • The university ended its recruitment of the prospect.
  • A ban on recruiting any prospects from the prospect’s high school for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-222 academic years.
  • A six-month show-cause order for the head coach. The terms of the show-cause order include a previously served nine-day ban on phone calls, emails or texts with prospects in January 2020; a reduction in off-campus recruiting contact days by three for the December 2019 through January 2020 contact period; a ban on all off-campus recruiting activities for the fall 2020 contact period; additional one-on-one rules education; and a public statement from the head coach addressing the violations.

http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/texas-am-football-program-violated-ncaa-rules

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