Football banned from recruiting: Two-year punishment due to Bo Pelini’s violations

 By Jordan Boitnott

Last week, Youngstown State University football received a two-year probation punishment due to recruiting violations made under Bo Pelini. The NCAA announced the decision in a press release April 20.

“The university, the football assistant coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that, while the prospect was enrolled at a Division II university, the assistant coach had 41 impermissible contacts without obtaining written permission from the prospect’s school,” the press release said. “Additional impermissible contacts occurred when the prospect made an unofficial visit and a later official visit, during both of which the assistant coach and other coaches engaged in impermissible contacts over extended periods of time.”

The press release also stated the coaches believed the player under review was in the transfer portal after he told them he so. Division II rules don’t require a university to grant an athlete their transfer portal request, according to the NCAA.

Along with the one major violation, the same assistant coach made “impermissible contacts” with 16 other prospects due to not taking the 2019-20 coaches certification request.

According to YSU Sports, YSU’s football program will receive a list of punishments due to the infractions.

The penalties include: two years of probation from April 20, 2021 to April 19, 2023; a $5,000 fine; a reduction of football official visits by three during the 2021-22 academic year; a two-week ban on unofficial visits during the 2020-21 academic year; a two-week ban on all recruiting communication during the 2020-21 academic year; a reduction of football evaluation days by three during the 2021-22 academic year; the assistant football coach was suspended from all coaching duties during three preseason football dates; and the assistant coach was banned from recruiting activities from Feb. 13-26, 2021.”

After the announcement on April 20, YSU Sports released a public statement.

“YSU identified and self-reported recruiting violations, conducted an internal investigation and worked cooperatively with the NCAA to negotiate a resolution. Additional policies and procedures have been implemented to enhance NCAA rules education and avoid future violations. Youngstown State Athletics is committed to maintaining and ensuring the highest standards of compliance in our intercollegiate athletics program.”

The team is currently preparing for the fall season after a 1-6 record in the shortened spring season. YSU Sports declined to comment further on the issue.