Once again, LSU football found itself under the microscope of the NCAA, stemming from an upside-down Ed Orgeron era. On Thursday, the NCAA released the Tigers’ planned list of penalties for a reported recruiting violation by former Tigers assistant coach James Cregg.
LSU faces a year of probation, a $5,000 fine, restrictions on official visits and a self-imposed one-week ban on unofficial visits in football programs until the start of the 2022-23 school year.
This list also includes the prohibition of recruiting communications in the football program one week before the start of the next school year, the 7-day reduction in assessment days in the football program, and the absence of publication. All penalties, with the exception of Cregg’s year-long probation and display cause, were imposed by the program itself.
“While [the committee] has in past cases, the violations in this case represent willful misconduct to which members should be concerned,” the NCAA Division I Violations Committee said in its release express. “The COVID-19 Recruiting Deadline is designed to protect the health and safety of potential clients, student-athletes and agency staff. It also provides a level playing field for recruiting at a time when government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions vary across the country environment.”
If any NCAA program hires Cregg, it must exclude him from any “off-campus recruiting activities unless there is a reason why restrictions should not be imposed.” Cregg in 2018-20 in LSU served as the offensive line coach and running game coordinator, helping the team win the College Football Playoff National Championship in the 2019 season.
In June 2021 for alleged recruitment violations after Cregg met with and provided team gear to a recruit without permission during his COVID-19 recruiting death and was fired.
Craig was not mentioned in a previous NCAA notice of charges, which focused on both football and men’s basketball, and the governing body had not previously charged the coach with any violations.
NCAA Violation Committee Chair Dave Roberts noted that larger LSU violation cases are going through a different adjudicating body, the Independent Accountability Resolution Process, which will be “up to them” to decide whether to rule on The case has no impact.
However, multiple NCAA violation experts said the Cregg case could become an “aggravating factor” that could increase the risk of larger sanctions in the IARP case. NCAA sanctions can be increased by aggravating factors and reduced by mitigating factors. A history of major violations (level 2 or higher) is a common aggravating factor.
“I’m sure the Critical Cases Unit (in charge of investigating LSU) will bring it up),” attorney Stu Brown, a veteran of NCAA violation cases, told Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated . “I can see that as a negative for LSU.”
Brown added that if LSU seeks mitigation in combined men’s basketball-soccer case Part of the argument centers on “corrective measures being taken since the investigation began,” a position that could be undermined by a second major concurrent case.
Cregg filed a lawsuit against the school in August ’21 for termination of contract for wrongful cause. Last month, a Baton Rouge judge ruled in Cregg’s favor, according to Daily Advertiser.
LSU says it intends to rule in August He later appealed the court’s decision.
“We are obviously disappointed by the court’s decision. We had a coach who admitted to the NCAA under oath that he contacted the NCAA despite being informed by compliance officers of his existing no-contact period with recruits Recruits were provided with athletic equipment,” the school said in a statement in August. “We have the contractual right and obligation to terminate this coach’s contract. Unfortunately, the trial court did not see this in the same way. We intend to appeal this decision.”
Craig is currently the 49ers offensive line coach in his first NFL tenure since 2017.
Sports Illustrated’s Patford contributed to this report.
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