Georgia head coach Mark Richt was able to rack up a few rollover minutes on his cell phone bill last year thanks to an NCAA secondary violation. Richt committed one of 13 violations by the program in the last six months of 2010 and took a self-imposed one week ban from calling recruits, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
Richt had improper contact with class of 2012 wide receiver C.J. Curry, who committed to the Bulldogs in October. In a letter from Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity to the SEC league office, the violation was deemed inadvertent on behalf of the coach:
Coach Richt was on a call with another prospective student-athlete (PSA) when he missed a call from a senior PSA’s mother (Mr. Sterling Bailey from East Hall High School in Georgia). The mother’s cell phone had a 678 area code. While he was checking the voicemail left by Ms. Bailey, Coach Richt missed another call from the 678 area code. After he listened to Ms. Bailey’s message, Coach Richt hit the send button for what he thought was Ms. Bailey. When a male’s voice answered the phone, Coach Richt was surprised and asked if it was Sterling, thinking he was calling Ms. Bailey and the PSA answered; however the person answering the phone told him he had the wrong number. When Coach Richt asked who it was, the individual said it was C.J. Curry.
Richt ended the call and self-reported the violation to Georgia’s compliance office.
Coaches who commit secondary violations can now be suspended thanks to new rules put in place by the NCAA and the American Football Coaches Association. Because all parties agreed that the violation was secondary in nature, Richt faced no further punishment as a result.