Texas Football: Impact of recruiting violations hitting Texas A&M

The in-state rival of the Texas football program, Texas A&M Aggies, we’re hit with some NCAA sanctions thanks to recruiting violations in 2018 and 2019.

Hitting on the recruiting trail hard is something that both the Texas football program and Texas A&M Aggies had to do in creative fashion since the start of the in-person contact hiatus instituted by the NCAA. The current embargo for recruiting visits mandated by the NCAA is in place through Aug. 31, which technically sits through the start of the 2020 season.

But the big recruiting news of the day didn’t have as much to do with the Longhorns as it did their rival in the Lone Star Showdown. Texas A&M was cited with recruiting violations from instances in 2018 and 2019 in multiple reports on July 2. The NCAA reported on the details of the Texas A&M football recruiting violations and what sanctions could be in store on Thursday.

Here’s some of the key points of that NCAA official release.

A six-month show-cause order for the assistant coach. The terms of the show-cause order include a previously served nine-day ban on phone calls, emails or texts with prospects in January 2020; a reduction in off-campus recruiting contact days by three for the December 2019 through January 2020 contact period; a ban on all off-campus recruiting activities for the fall 2020 contact period; and additional one-on-one rules education.</p>
<p>The panel noted the circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could impact how the remaining recruiting restrictions are implemented and encouraged the university to report any challenges with penalty implementation to the NCAA.

Some of the other sanctions included with this finding for the Texas A&M program includes one year of probation, a $5,000 fine, off-campus recruiting ban for the entire coaching staff until November, and the ending of the recruitment of the certain prospect that caused the Aggies to dive into this situation.

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher also released a statement following these sanctions, quote thanks to 12th Man. Here’s what Fisher had to say on this matter following the sanction announcement from the NCAA earlier in the week.

“As Texas A&M’s Head Football Coach, I am responsible for promoting and monitoring for NCAA compliance in our program. While I am disappointed in the violations, including an unintended one that resulted from a conversation with a high school athlete, it is still my responsibility to ensure we are adhering to each and every rule. I am pleased to have this matter completely behind our program and look forward to continuing our efforts to make every aspect of our program one all Aggies can continue to be proud of.”

The limiting of the off campus recruiting for Fisher and the rest of his coaching staff is clearly going to have some level of impact on Texas A&M’s 2021 class. This could give the Longhorns a leg up in any recruiting battles that they’re locked in with Texas A&M on.

Another point to note here is that the NCAA is still handing out quite a few sets of sanctions, with varying degrees of harshness, to current and former Big 12 athletic programs. Texas A&M’s recruiting sanctions should help the Longhorns gain an edge for their 2021 class if nothing else, and they could a leg up on the hoops trail with the sanctions that were announced for the Oklahoma State Cowboys men’s basketball program earlier in the year.

Next: Inside Longhorns advanced stats from 2019 season

Since the Aggies and Longhorns don’t meet on the gridiron for the foreseeable future, all of the impact this has for each program will keep to the recruiting trail. We’ll see if Texas A&M is able to stay afloat with their 2021 or 2022 class, as they already rank outside of the top 25 in the national class rankings as of the afternoon of July 3.

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