Alabama athletics: Crimson Tide revises its list of NCAA secondary violations

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerJuly 6, 2011 

The University of Alabama revised its list of NCAA secondary violations committed during the past two years on its website Tuesday. The total fell from 44 on the original document released last week to 36 on Tuesday.

Either way, school officials aren’t concerned the volume of minor infractions committed would cause any further harm. It should not violate the NCAA probation handed down as part of the 2009 penalties levied following the textbook scandal.

According to the NCAA rule book, if a school “commits several secondary violations, they may collectively be considered a major infraction.”

The 36 self-reported violations made by Alabama from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011, did not rise to that level, a UA spokesman said Tuesday. All violations were reported to the NCAA upon discovery, not en masse as they were made public.

The school revised the list originally posted on the school’s official athletics website Friday because a few entries were duplicated or left out.

Alabama’s method for releasing the list of infractions varies from other SEC schools. Instead of releasing lists every few months in response to open records requests from media outlets, Alabama compiles the list for release deep on the compliance webpage during the summer. Because nothing was released last July, this week’s list contained two years of violations.

Georgia, by contrast, turned over a list of six secondary violations committed between April and June in response to a request from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive addressed such infractions at last year’s SEC Football Media Days.

“Secondary violations represent a reality associated with intercollegiate athletics as a highly regulated endeavor, including a 427-page manual of rules and thousands of interpretations,” Slive said. “Included in the manual is a definition of secondary violations which states that a secondary violation is, and I quote, ‘isolated or inadvertent in nature, provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive, or other advantage, and does not include any significant recruiting inducement or extra benefit.’”

Under the revised list of violations posted Tuesday, Alabama’s football secondary violation total slipped from 16 to 14. Four were removed because of duplication while two new ones were added. The first -- two recruits receiving impermissible benefits -- appears to be the case of Mark Ingram and Julio Jones from the 2009 season. Both were investigated in connection with a fishing trip allegedly paid for by Athens businessman Curtis Anderson. Both were declared eligible by the NCAA just days before the 2009 season opener that catapulted Ingram’s Heisman Trophy season.

The other updated football infraction appears to involve linebacker Jerrell Harris who was suspended for the first half of the 2009 season for receiving impermissible benefits. No names or dates were listed for the violations posted online, but penalties and infractions matched known facts.

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