Ohio State athletics has committed at least nine violations in less than three months.
OSU has so far self-reported at least nine minor violations in 2014, six of which included prospective student-athletes. The sport for one self-reported violation was redacted from the request, along with the name of the student-athlete involved.
Of the nine reported violations, the sport with the highest number of violations so far in 2014 is the football team, with two.
The figure is a result of an open records request submitted Feb. 24 by The Lantern and released Wednesday by the OSU public records office.
None of the violations are considered major. The reason the sport was redacted on a violation reported Feb. 3 was because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, paralegal and Public Records Office program manager Rebecca Dickson said in an email.
“FERPA obligates us to redact information which could lead to the identification of the particular student,” Dickson said. “Redacting the sport allowed us to still help you to understand the gist of that particular violation, yet still protect the privacy of the particular student, as is required by federal law.”
Much like the 24 violations that were self-reported by the athletic department in the latter half of 2013, the school proposed its own corrective action to either the Big Ten or NCAA in eight of the nine cases. The lone violation for which the institution, or OSU, deemed “no further action (was) necessary” was the case with the redacted information, as it involved a student-athlete’s immediate health at the time of the violation according to the report.
The corrective actions included providing a letter to educate the sports’ respective staffs of the rules of OSU Compliance, as well as holding meetings with the office. The most recent violation report was Feb. 20.
Impermissible Scouting Reported Jan. 9
- During a weekend in November 2013 — the exact date was redacted — a football graduate assistant coach took a trip to a school — one where he was formerly employed as a graduate assistant — to attend a game. The name of the graduate assistant coach was redacted in the report, in addition to where he traveled, who he was going to visit, what type of sport he was seeing and where his other friends were from.
Impermissible Lodging Reported Feb. 19
- During an official campus visit from Dec. 13 to 15, a prospective student-athlete and his family were reserved three hotel rooms by the institution: one for the athlete himself, one for his father and brother and one for his mother, who is separated from his father. According to the report, the OSU football staff did not know the prospect’s mother had decided not to attend the visit, and because her room was going unused, the prospect’s brother asked the hotel clerk to allow him to use it instead. The clerk complied with this request because he was a family member. In addition to sending a letter to educate the football staff that emphasized the rules about lodging during official visits, the prospect has been declared ineligible by the institution until he repays the value of the room to a charity.
Women’s Field Hockey
Impermissible Phone Calls Reported Jan. 9
- Assistant coach Kelly Terwilliger called two prospective student-athletes twice in one week. The compliance office issued a letter of education to the women’s field hockey coaching staff, and the institution never recruited either prospective student-athlete, who have since enrolled at an institution other than OSU.
Impermissible Text Message Reported Jan. 22
- An impermissible text message was sent to a prospective student-athlete. In addition to the letter of education sent to the gymnastics coaching staff, the institution prohibited them from contacting all prospective student-athletes from Dec. 4 to 11.
Outside Competition Expense Reported Feb. 3
- In the unnamed sport, a student-athlete who was competing unattached suffered a head injury and thus was unable to complete the competition. An OSU athletic trainer was present at the event, however, because OSU student-athletes were participating at the same competition. The trainer deemed it necessary for the injured student-athlete to receive medical attention and transportation home on the team bus so they could observe them and make sure their condition didn’t get worse. The head coach of the sport called OSU Compliance prior to the trip home, and the Compliance Office approved the trip and services for out of concern for the student-athlete’s personal welfare.
Publicity of Prospect’s Visit Reported Feb. 3
- A pair of prospective student-athletes was on the field with the team as they were being recognized at halftime of the football team’s game against Buffalo Aug. 31.
Impermissible Text Message Reported Feb. 3
- An assistant coach sent an email to a parent of a prospective student-athlete. After issuing the coaching staff a letter of education regarding the use of electronic correspondence in recruiting, the institution also forbade them from contacting the athlete until Sept. 15, 2015 — two weeks later than what would have been the first permissible date to begin contacting her.
Private Camp Advertising Reported Feb. 4
- After submitting a copy of a proposed camp advertisement to the Compliance Office and having it approved, a non-institutional camp director submitted it on an online message board to promote the camp. When the director submitted it to the office, it did not have the names or images of any OSU student-athletes, but when he or she put it online, the message board added the names and pictures of four OSU student-athletes to the advertisement. The advertisement was quickly removed by the non-institutional camp director after working with the Compliance Office, and OSU said it believed no further action was necessary.
Impermissible Seating Reported Feb. 20
- Two prospective student-athletes were on campus for official visits Nov. 23, and attended the football team’s game against Indiana. Before a game begins, prospects who are on recruiting trips are permitted to be on the field until approximately 10 minutes before kickoff and are then asked to take their seats. On this occasion, a long line had formed to exit the field because of the cold temperatures that day, and the prospects instead chose to wait on the sidelines next to a heater. They did not leave the field until after kickoff. In addition to a letter of education sent to the coaching staff of the volleyball program, a member of the coaching staff will now accompany all visiting prospects on the sidelines before football games.