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July 26, 2014

Evans bio on website among Auburn’s 21 self-reported NCAA secondary violations

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Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:54 pm | Updated: 9:56 pm, Tue Jul 15, 2014.

The Auburn athletic program reported 21 NCAA secondary violations from July 2013 to June 2014, according to 23 pages of documents released Tuesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents were heavily redacted, making it nearly impossible to discern the sports any of the violations took place, though some are discernible, including the online bio of Rashaan Evans discovered on the Auburn athletics website on National Signing Day moments before Evans declared he was going to Alabama, where he then signed.

"Media personnel were able to hack into the site and 'find' the code to pull up the bio," Auburn's report of the Evans incident states.

The report says the ordeal was an "embarrassment" to the athletics department, particularly the media relations staff, however a member of the Auburn media relations staff vehemently denied it was an NCAA violation to the Advertiser that day.

Another notable pair of violations involved new basketball forward Cinmeon Bowers.

While on his official visit April 12, Bowers was left alone by two assistant coaches and ended up shooting basketball with Chuck Person. Bowers tweeted about it and the coaches retweeted it, creating public electronic messages to a prospect.

The other violations ranged from impermissible texts, phone calls and Facebook messages to complimentary tickets to a high school coach totaling $28 and a member of a prospect's family receiving $90 worth of meals on an official visit.

Incidents of note include four players in an unnamed sport at an unnamed restaurant where someone paid their bill, despite their objections to the waiter, Aug. 10. They returned the next day and paid what they would have been charged and were reinstated without having to go through a formal process.

In a particularly absurd violation, a non-coaching member of the athletic department who knew a recruit for three years, not stemming from athletics, invited the recruit to an area for department employees for a glass of water, which because the athlete was a prospect is an impermissible benefit. Information was provided to the unnamed employee and no further action was taken.

The other violations were as follows:

• A recruit took a picture with an unnamed celebrity at the Iron Bowl.

• A high school coach received complimentary tickets totaling $28 for two games March 6 and 7.

• There was an impermissible text message sent to a recruit on Oct. 24.

• A walk-on was allowed to practice 80 times before Auburn received final approval of the player from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

• Two calls were placed to a prospect during a week when only one call was permitted.

• A coach mistakenly texted a prospect thinking they were a current player.

• A coach visited a high school twice during the fall evaluation period due to another coach not being aware the first visit occurred.

• A coach addressed a high school team that rented an on-campus facility for practice, but then competed that night, making the contact a violation.

• Visitor's guides not produced by Auburn were mistakenly sent to five prospects in May.

• Two assistant coaches in an unspecified sport mistakenly called the same recruit for a span of two minutes Aug. 13. An electronic monitoring system caught the violation and was self-reported, resulting in one of the coaches not being permitted any recruiting calls for 14 days, and no calls to the recruit the coaches called for 14 days.

• A Level I violation was considered a "fluke" because of incorrect biographical information filed by another institution to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

• An assistant coach contacted a recruit via Facebook before Sept. 1 of the athlete's junior year in high school. This came despite research by the coach that led them to believe the recruit was a junior, and because the recruit attends an online high school it was more difficult to discern what grade they were in.

• There was an impermissible meeting at an off-campus restaurant during a recruit's unofficial visit by a member of an unspecified coaching staff on Feb. 12.

• A coach received a group text message Jan. 17 that included an unknown number, which sent a follow-up message, and the coach, believing the sender was the high school coach of a recruit, responded asking it that was the case. The unknown sender was the prospect's father.

Auburn reported 16 secondary violations from July 2012 to June 2013.

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