Charlottesville (WSLS-10 Sports)- The UVA Athletics department has self-reported a violation of NCAA rules by the football program involving impermissible contacts. The contacts have resulted in a Level II violation. The violations involved assistant football coaches engaging with prospects to take a photograph. The violations occured during the last week of April and the first week in May, 2016 and were reported by head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
The following is reaction from Mendenhall courtesy of a release from the UVA Athletics department:
"I am disappointed these actions occurred during engagements with prospects and resulted in violations," Mendenhall said. "It is incumbent upon everyone associated with our program to have a complete understanding of the NCAA bylaws and interpretations and it's my responsibility to ensure that happens. We have already taken steps with our compliance staff to improve our training and rules education to ensure we meet that standard. It is our goal to operate at the highest level of compliance to support the University and positively represent our students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and community."
There were a total of 32 violations, elevating the overall violation to Level II status. Here are the penalties imposed by the NCAA:
- Public reprimand and $5,000 fine (standard NCAA penalties for Level II violations)
- Self-imposed reduction from six to four off-campus contacts for those prospects with whom coaches took photographs
- Self-imposed reduction of spring 2017 evaluations from 168 to 150
- Self-imposed additional rules education for the football staff as to what is deemed an impermissible contact
Athletics Director Craig Littlepage had the following comments, courtesy of the UVA Athletic department release:
"I believe we have established a positive culture of compliance regarding the NCAA bylaws and Coach Mendenhall's response, cooperation with the NCAA and steps to move forward following these violations confirms that commitment," said Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage. "This is a reminder to all of our programs of the level of diligence required regarding our dedication to compliance. We are committed to abiding by all NCAA rules and I expect our entire athletics department to operate with that goal in mind."