Texas A&M Football Placed On Probation

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Texas A&M Football Placed On Probation

Recruiting Violation Lands Them On Probation

Texas A&M football was placed on probation for one year and coach Jimbo Fisher was given a six-month show-cause order after he and the football program were found to have violated NCAA recruiting and athletic-related activity rules.

The findings, which was released on Thursday, stemmed from violations between January 2018 and February 2019, including an instance where Fisher and an assistant coach had impermissible contact with a recruit. As part of the negotiated resolution, the school had to end recruitment of the recruit in question.

Fisher, who was found to have found to have “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance” and “did not demonstrate that he monitored his staff”, was forced to serve a nine-day ban on phone calls, emails or texts with prospects in January.

Fisher’s show-cause will be in place through the rest of 2020 and “the assistant coach, who was not named in the report, was also give a six-month show-cause order and other penalties.”

The football program was also found to have caused its players to exceed activity time limits by approximately seven hours for multiple weeks during the spring and summer of 2018.

Texas A&M was placed on probation for one year, fined $5,000 and given several other recruiting restrictions.

One piece of information missing in the NCAA’s report is the name of the assistant coach that broke the violation with Fisher. On Thursday, Texas A&M revealed former running backs coach Jay Graham, now serving in the same role at Tennessee, was the assistant coach that violated the NCAA rule.

Here is the incident that led to the Texas A&M coaches committing a Level II violation, according to Texas A&M: “In January 2019, an unintentional, yet impermissible recruiting contact occurred when Coach Jimbo Fisher and former assistant coach Jay Graham were present in the office area of a high school coach and communicated with a prospective student-athlete, violating NCAA bylaws and resulting in a Level II violation.”

Here are the penalties handed out to Fisher and Graham during the previous recruiting cycle:

  • In November 2019, Texas A&M self-imposed an off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff.
  • The university reduced Coach Fisher and former assistant coach Graham’s off-campus recruiting contact days by three days in the December 2019 – January 2020 recruiting time-period; and
  • The university prohibited any phone calls, emails or text messages between Coach Fisher and former assistant coach Graham with any prospective student-athletes for nine days in January 2020.

Here are the penalties specifically assigned to Fisher and Graham (his punishment will be served at Tennessee) moving forward in the 2021 recruiting cycle:

  • Coach Fisher and former assistant coach Graham will conduct no off-campus recruiting activities during the fall of 2020 permissible contact period; Coach Graham will serve this penalty at his new institution (Tennessee).

Again, nothing major there but it will be interesting to see well Texas A&M closes wraps up its Early Signing Period recruiting considering Fisher won’t be allowed to do any in-home visits until 2021.