BATON ROUGE — The NCAA determined Thursday that LSU football must pay a self-imposed fine of $5,000, be limited to 55 official recruiting visits during the 2022-23 academic year, and will be on probation for one year, among other penalties.
LSU’s probation does not include a bowl ban.
The NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions ruled that LSU violated recruiting rules during the COVID-19 dead period, when former offensive line coach James Cregg and a former assistant recruiting director unidentified met a potential athlete and “provided the prospect with recruiting incentives.”
Cregg was also given a three-year penalty for cause by the NCAA.
“Today’s NCAA Violations Committee decision involving a former LSU assistant football coach concludes a 21-month cooperative process between the university and the NCAA,” LSU wrote in a statement., the University worked with law enforcement personnel to determine the truth and impose sanctions on itself. We are grateful to the Committee and enforcement staff for their work and for accepting our self-imposed sanctions, and we are happy to be able to move forward as an institution and as a football program. LSU continues to work through the IARP process regarding other allegations of rule violations.
Cregg filed a lawsuit against the university in August 2021, alleging LSU fired him in June “for a cause that didn’t exist,” his attorneys Chris Whittington and Robb Campbell told The Advertiser last month. A Baton Rouge judge ruled in August 2022 that LSU should pay Cregg $492,945.20 for improperly firing him for cause.
Prior to Thursday’s ruling, the NCAA had not issued any penalties to Cregg. The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations in March also made no mention of Cregg.
The money owed to Cregg included his remaining salary from June 17, 2021 through March 31, 2022. But it did not include an eight-day period in February and all of March 2022 during which his current employer, the San Francisco 49ers , covered his remuneration.
In a statement released to The Advertiser in August, LSU planned to appeal the court’s decision. Given Thursday’s decision from the NCAA, outlining Cregg’s wrongdoing, the university’s stance on an appeal will be emboldened.
“We will pursue all legal options available to us, including appeal. Today’s ruling from the NCAA’s Infractions Committee confirms LSU’s response to the allegations arising from Coach Cregg’s conduct. “, LSU wrote in a second statement released Thursday. “Coach Cregg admitted under oath that he contacted and provided sports equipment to a recruit after being warned by compliance staff of the COVID-based no-contact period with recruits. This type of intentional conduct and Conscious was charged with a Level II violation by NCAA law enforcement personnel, and the NCAA Violations Committee concluded that it was an aggravated Level II violation for the Coach Cregg and is a Tier II Mitigation Violation for LSU. The university was credited with responding quickly by terminating Cregg and imposing sanctions on itself, which the committee accepted. We believe this decision fully supports the hard work of our Sport Compliance staff and our decision regarding this coach.
Cregg served as LSU’s offensive line coach for three seasons, leading the unit to win the 2019 Joe Moore Award as the top offensive line in the nation. His replacement, former Arkansas offensive line coach Brad Davis, was hired in June 2021 and still holds the position.
Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.