Report: Ohio State self-reports four minor recruiting violations to NCAA

On3 imageby:Nick Schultz02/27/24

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Ohio State has self-reported four minor recruiting violations, The Columbus Dispatch’s Joey Kaufman reported. They were all deemed Level III violations, which is considered very minor of the three levels – with Level I as the most severe.

All four violations came within a five-month window, according to the Dispatch. They include contacting a player before he entered the transfer portal and providing a high school player with an edit after a visit. According to the report, a coach contacted a player who posted his intention to enter the portal, but stopped all communication as soon as he learned contact wasn’t allowed.

Ohio State submitted the violation to the Big Ten and the NCAA on Aug. 18, stopped recruiting activities for one week and cut down its in-person days and official visits.

The second reported violation stemmed from an edit provided during the “SummerFest” recruiting event in July. One of the recruits from the class of 2026 committed on the visit, and offensive coordinator Brian Hartline shared a graphic from the creative staff with his guardian, Adam “Pacman” Jones. Because the prospect wasn’t a junior in high school, that goes against NCAA rules, and Ohio State lost two recruiting days after reporting it.

Another violation included a photo of a recruit with two unnamed boosters, according to the report. That took place in September, and the photo was removed during the first quarter after a staff member noticed it. The boosters both received rules education, one wasn’t allowed to receive a sideline pass for two games and the NCAA took away two in-person recruiting days as a result.

Finally, a staff member commented on a commitment post in January, which goes against NCAA rules. The staffer deleted the post and received education on recruiting and social media.

Ohio State is coming off an 11-2 record in 2023 and saw some major staff changes over the offseason. The most notable came at offensive coordinator. Bill O’Brien initially came in to share the role with Hartline, but he left to become the head coach at Boston College. That opened the door for UCLA head coach Chip Kelly to take over the position, reuniting him with Ryan Day.

The Buckeyes were also big winners in the portal, bringing in multiple notable additions. Former Alabama safety Caleb Downs was the headliner of the group, coming in as the No. 1 overall player in the On3 Industry Transfer Rankings.