New Auburn coach Gene Chizik has been pulling out all the stops to make an impression on the recruiting trail during his first year on the Plains.
But it appears Chizik and his assistants have not pulled out the NCAA rule book.
The Tigers’ first-year staff, which first created a buzz by driving a limo to high schools during the spring evaluation period, hosted a couple dozen recruits last weekend for what it called the “Big Cat” weekend.
Calhoun County offensive lineman Eric Mack raved about the weekend, which included a rolling of Toomer’s Corner.
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The weekend also might have included a couple of NCAA recruiting violations, according to Mobile Press-Register beat writer Evan Woodbery, formerly of The State.
NCAA rules prohibit the introduction of visiting prospects during any function. But videos of the Toomer’s Corner gathering posted on a pair of Web sites show a crowd cheering wildly as players are introduced by name, position and hometown.
The man shouting the intros does not appear on the videos, although Woodberry reports that assistant head coach Trooper Taylor is shown leading the cheers immediately after the introductions.
Mack and Byrnes tailback Marcus Lattimore, the top two prospects in South Carolina this year, are among those shown being introduced in the videos.
Under NCAA rules, schools are not allowed to publicize a recruit’s visit. And though the Toomer’s Corner event was advertised on all three major Auburn fan sites, urging fans to attend, Woodberry reported that the posts did not attribute the information to Auburn coaches or staffers.
According to Woodberry, Auburn officials are looking into whether the school committed any violations, which would be secondary in nature.
Maybe Steve Spurrier asked the wrong first-year SEC coach whether he had passed the NCAA rules exam.