Sooners Report Secondary NCAA Violations

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:13 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Feb 23, 2011 8:10 AM CDT

Oklahoma Sports Staff and Wire Reports

NORMAN, Oklahoma— The Oklahoma Sooner football team has been required to give players a week off from athletic training during the offseason after reporting a series of secondary NCAA rules violations.

The Sooners reported to the NCAA four assistant coaches had improperly questioned players about their lack of participation in voluntary offseason workouts, and that some players had been working out more than the allowed eight hours per week.

Kenny Mossman, Senior Associate Athletic Director, told Oklahoma Sports that secondary violations are common and the University will not be releasing any kind of statement or comment on the matter.

According to a letter sent to NCAA director of secondary enforcement Chris Strobel, the university started an investigation after a player refused to sign a weekly practice log and then provided Oklahoma's compliance director with a recording of defensive backs coach Willie Martinez asking why he had missed a voluntary workout.

The investigation found that receivers coach Jay Norvell and offensive line coach James Patton also discussed attendance at the workouts with players, and defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp received reports from the strength staff on who was participating.

Oklahoma also informed the NCAA that secondary violations occurred when football players went through Pilates sessions in addition to their offseason workouts, when strength coaches observed players' independent agility training and when seven players were required to repeat a conditioning drill. All three resulted the players going over the NCAA's eight-hour weekly limit on guided offseason workouts.

Other violations included a handful of self-reported impermissible text messages and phone calls by assistant coaches to recruits and their fathers, and the team's website posting links to recruiting websites on signing day last year.

As far as the week of offseason training that will be lost, Mossman said he thinks the University can choose what week will be missed and that as of this time that week off has not been decided.

According to the NCAA, a secondary violation is an isolated or inadvertent violation that provides or intends to provide only minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantages.

Furthermore, secondary violations do not include extra benefits or any significant recruiting benefits. If a school commits several secondary violations, they may collectively be considered a major infraction. Secondary violations occur frequently and are usually resolved administratively.

The violations were included in documents released to The Associated Press on Tuesday following an open records request.

The men's basketball team, which was on NCAA probation until May, and is again being investigated, also reported secondary violations resulting from two assistant coaches placing two impermissible recruiting calls apiece and three violations related to official visits by prospects.