The NCAA announced Tuesday afternoon that it will accept LSU’s self-imposed football penalties for recruiting “major violations” mostly involving former assistant coach D.J. McCarthy.
The NCAA will place LSU on a one-year probation through July 18, 2012 and limit LSU’s official recruiting visits for football by 10 percent this fall.
The NCAA ruling also, in effect, lessens LSU’s self-imposed penalties by counting LSU’s reduction of two football scholarships retroactively to last season, instead of for the upcoming season as LSU initially announced in December.
Last year, LSU had 83 or fewer football players on scholarship, instead of the maximum 85 scholarship players.
This fall, LSU will now be able to have the full allotment of 85 scholarship players.
LSU also will restrict its allowable recruiting phone calls during the month of September.
LSU already self-imposed reducing its recruiting class this past February from 25 to 23 in-coming student athletes.
The NCAA cited LSU’s cooperation and quick action for avoiding tougher penalties and a lengthier probation period.
LSU’s internal investigation centered on former wide receivers coach McCarthy – who resigned in December 2009 – and Akiem Hicks, a defensive lineman and junior college transfer from California.
Hicks did not play in 2009, his only season on the team. He left LSU after the season. His scholarship was not renewed.
The NCAA and football recruiting violations involved improper telephone contact, transportation and housing involving the former assistant coach and player.
Hicks was living at an off-campus apartment at an inappropriately reduced rate, which apartment complex officials admitted doing for other LSU student athletes in order to at-tract more business, according to LSU’s internal report.
McCarthy made excessive telephone calls to recruits beyond NCAA guidelines and Hicks accepted free transportation, according to LSU. Hicks also received $350 from a football coach not employed by LSU, but who participated in a summer camp at LSU, according to the university report.
An Oct. 27 letter from LSU Chancellor Michael Martin to Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive also indicated that LSU determined additional phone calls by non-coaching football staffers to recruits that violated NCAA rules. The report states that such calls mostly involved “routine clerical tasks” and did not give LSU “any significant recruiting advantage.”
An audit of phone records dating back to August 2008 showed 389 phone calls were placed or received by non-coaching staffers and recruits or their families. Another 3,615 calls involved high school administrators or high school coaches, the report states. LSU dubbed the latest phone violations as “inadvertent” in the report.
The calls mostly involved logistical issues, film of recruits, football tickets for high school coaches and other routine matters, according to LSU.