The NCAA placed LSU’s football program on a one-year probation and gave former offensive line coach James Cregg a three-year penalty after violating recruiting rules during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a ruling by the Division I Violations Committee, Cregg encountered a prospect during the recruiting period who died of COVID-19, who the panel described as a Level II case.
LSU will also pay a self-imposed fine of $5,000 and is limited to 55 official visits. The program also self-imposed a one-week ban on unofficial visits and a one-week ban on recruiting communications.
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“While the (committee) has encountered more egregious behavior in previous cases, the violations in this case represent intentional misconduct that members should be concerned about,” the panel said in its decision. “The COVID-19 recruiting dead period was intended to protect the health and safety of prospects, student-athletes and institutional staff. She also leveled the playing field for recruitment at a time when government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions varied across the country. “
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The announcement is a completely different violation than the situation that occurred with Will Wade and the men’s basketball program, which had already received a notice of allegations earlier this year. The case, which also involves the football team, has not received a final decision on penalties.
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“(The hearing) hasn’t even happened yet and isn’t expected for months,” CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander wrote. “There’s still a long way to go before this one is resolved.”
Following today’s news, LSU released an official statement:
“Today’s decision by the NCAA Committee on Infractions involving a former LSU assistant football coach concludes a 21-month cooperative process between the University and the NCAA. Throughout this process, the University worked together with law enforcement personnel to determine the truth and impose self-imposed sanctions. We are grateful to the Committee and enforcement staff for their work and for accepting our self-imposed sanctions, and we are pleased 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.