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Love and The NCAA

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From The Independent Florida Alligator; (HT: Timmy C.)

The UF compliance office is currently gathering information about a possible secondary recruiting violation involving Gators football coach Urban Meyer and his communication with a junior college transfer and his girlfriend, a Gators gymnast.

According to a Jan. 16 article in The Gainesville Sun, gymnast Maranda Smith said Meyer called her about signing with UF in hopes of luring her boyfriend, Carl Moore, a five-star wide receiver from Sierra (Calif.) College, to Gainesville. Moore signed his letter of intent with the Gators on Dec. 19 and enrolled in classes earlier this month. Smith competed for UCLA but transferred to Sierra last year before enrolling at UF.

"I used to talk to him every day back in November when he was recruiting Carl," Smith said in the story. "He kept asking how Carl was doing, and (he) wanted me to come here and do gymnastics."

There are two issues at hand: The first is that coaches are limited to recruiting athletes in the sport they coach; the second is the timeframe in which coaches can contact recruitable athletes more than once per week.

First of all, from a Gator homer standpoint, I hate hearing this stuff because the anti-UF people fall over themselves to bury the Gators. We're at the point now where if Urban wiped his nose on his sleeve and not with a tissue, Vols and Dogs fans would join Mike Bianchi in writing 1000 words about hygiene.

In terms of the rule, it doesn't look like Meyer found a loophole this time. The original Gainesville Sun article quotes gymnast Maranda Smith enough times that makes it obvious that Meyer had spoken with her. Boyfriends and Girlfriends I'm sure are recruited to the same schools, but Meyer establishing contact before Rhonda Faehn did would be the problem. My question is; where does the NCAA draw the line? Can a coach contact parents and family members non-stop only because they aren't college athletes?

Of course, this isn't Meyer bringing a bag of cash to Carl Moore or having grades fixed for him. Just like punching a guy isn't murder, but still a crime, so is this. I don't know what type of penalty the NCAA can issue, especially because Smith is competing this season and Moore is enrolled. You can't pull them out of school. I would think that both football and gymnastics could lose a scholarship or two. The biggest problem with all of this is that Smith and Moore didn't do anything wrong. It just happened to be that they are dating and Division I athletes.