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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mark Richt, recruiting and the dangers of pocket-dialing

We've all done it. Normally the penalty is just an unwanted conversation, or an embarrassing, unintended call to an ex-girlfriend, or just a good laugh.

In the case of Mark Richt and a Georgia assistant basketball coach, however, the so-called pocket texts, or sending a text when you mean to send an e-mail, result in having to report a secondary violation.

It happened this spring with two high-profile recruits: Jordan Jenkins in Richt's case, and Robert Carter with UGA men's basketball assistant Kwanza Johnson.

Here's how UGA described Richt's pocket call in a May 27 letter to the SEC. (The paragraph breaks are mine, to make reading it simpler):

“The violation occurred when our men’s football program Head Coach, Mark Richt, sent two text messages to a prospective student-athlete’s father on May 26, 2011. Specifically, Coach Richt sent two text messages to Mr. Ron Jenkins, the father of rising senior high school prospect Jordan Jenkins, inadvertently from his Blackberry.

"Coach Richt called Mr. Jenkins the evening of May 26th. Later in the evening Coach Richt received a text from Mr. Jenkins asking for camp dates. As Coach Richt did not have Jenkins’ cell phone number programmed as a contact, the text appeared to be from an unknown number. Coach Richt intended to text his Recruiting Assistant, Charles Cantor to identify the number. Coach Richt failed to send the final text to Mr. Cantor but instead replied to the original text from Mr. Jenkins.

"Immediately, Coach Richt realized the error and self-reported the violation to Eric Baumgartner, Associate Athletics Director for Compliance. Mr. Baumgartner later texted Coach Richt asking if Mr. Jenkins had replied to his impermissible text.

"Coach Richt attempted to forward Mr. Jenkins’ response to Mr. Baumgartner, but instead replied again to Mr. Jenkins. Coach Richt then self-reported the additional text to Mr. Baumgartner and eventually emailed Mr. Jenkins the camp dates.”

In the letter, UGA asked for "relief" from the standard two-week ban, citing the "inadvertent" nature of Richt's call, and that they were "informational" calls.

And here is what UGA reported to the SEC in an April 25 letter:

“Assistant Coach Kwanza Johnson was following PSA, Mr. Robert Carter Jr’s, Twitter account and saw the PSA post that he was out of school for the day. Since the men’s basketeball staff was together in a staff meeting, Coach Johnson decided to send the PSA an email asking him to call the staff.

“However, instead of selecting the email feature on his cell phone, Coach Johnson noticed that the SMS feature was used and a text message was sent at 10:45 a.m. Coach Johnson then sent a permissible email to the PSA at 10:47 a.m. The message that Coach Johnson sent to the PSA was, “No school today, huh? Hit me up. Coach Fox and I want to holler at you.”

“The violation was immediately reported by Coach Johnson after he realized the violation occurred.”

As penalty, UGA blocked itself from corresponding with Carter for 30 days, and precluded Johnson from calling any recruits for two weeks.

1 comment:

Matt B. said...

Good God, the NCAA is the most backwards-ass organization short of the US Government that I've ever seen.