Florida's Dan Mullen gets 1-year show-cause penalty for violating recruiting rules

The NCAA announced on Tuesday that Florida head coach Dan Mullen and his entire football program are being punished for several violations of the NCAA’s recruiting rules. Mullen specifically “did not promote an atmosphere of compliance.”

There were two different violations of the recruiting rules. The first time, Mullen and his assistant coach had a meeting with a high school coach about their interest in a certain prospect while that prospect was actually in the room.

The university, the head football coach, an assistant coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the assistant coach and head coach had impermissible in-person contact with a prospect when they met with a prospect’s high school coach while the prospect was in the room. At that meeting, the Florida coaches expressed an interest in recruiting the prospect. Leading up to that visit, the head coach sent the prospect texts about his upcoming visit to the high school and his interest in recruiting the prospect. NCAA rules were violated because off-campus recruiting contacts are not allowed until after a football prospect’s junior year of high school.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 30: Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen on the sidelines during the College Football game between the Florida Gators and the Virginia Cavaliers at the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, 2019 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Florida's head coach Dan Mullen received a one-year show-cause penalty for violating the NCAA's recruitment rules. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The second violation occurred when seven non-scholastic football teams visited Florida’s campus and toured the facilities. The Florida coaching staff had “impermissible contact with approximately 127 prospects,” and “incidental impermissible contact” with several others.

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions handed down a pile of penalties, but the biggest one landed on Mullen: a one-year show-cause penalty.

A one-year show-cause order for the head football coach. During that period, the head coach is prohibited from all off-campus recruiting activity during the fall 2020 evaluation period and a four-day off-campus recruiting ban during the fall 2021 contact period.

In addition to that, Mullen and his assistant coach are required to participate in one-on-one education about NCAA contract and evaluation rules. The other penalties for Florida include a fine, one year of probation, and various restrictions on recruitment for the 2020-2021 academic year.

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