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Originally published January 30, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 30, 2009 at 12:57 AM


UW Football | Huskies report more secondary recruiting violations to Pac-10

UW says contact with reporter, high-school junior while visiting recruits was "inadvertent."

Seattle Times staff reporter

The University of Washington announced Thursday it will report two secondary violations to the Pac-10, in relation to a Los Angeles Times story that detailed a recruiting visit by Huskies coaches last week, but said each was inadvertent.

The Huskies reported that the violations occurred when Washington coach Steve Sarkisian and assistant head coach Nick Holt met with two high-school seniors and their coach last week in Los Angeles. Also present at that meeting were a newspaper reporter and a junior teammate of the two players. The release stated that it is not permissible for coaches to have off-campus contact with prospective student-athletes until July 1 before their senior year, nor is it permissible to have recruiting contact with prospects in the presence of media.

Washington coaches were visiting quarterback/defensive end James Boyd and receiver Delvon Purvis of Jordan High School. The underclassmen present was receiver Deshawn Beck.

Washington's statement announcing the violation said that "neither UW coach was aware ahead of time that the junior student-athlete or the newspaper reporter would be present at the visit. Additionally, neither coach engaged either the reporter or the junior in conversation during the meeting."

Said UW athletic director Scott Woodward: "I want to make it clear that we do not tolerate NCAA violations. We, as a department, are committed to compliance with the rules. Coach Sarkisian and coach Holt found themselves in an awkward situation that was not of their doing. They regret that the incident occurred, and I'm confident that they will handle similar circumstances differently in the future."

The L.A. Times reporter who wrote the story, Ben Bolch, backed up the assertion that the violation was inadvertent. He said he didn't know it was a violation for him to be present at the meeting. He said he was interviewing Jordan High coach Elijah Asante and a player when Sarkisian and Holt arrived.

"We met and shook hands and watched a highlight video of [Purvis]," Bolch wrote in an e-mail. "Then I drove separately to the coffee house and observed the recruiting visit. They [UW's coaches] didn't engage the underclassmen or myself during the visit."

Having a media member present at a visit is a violation of NCAA bylaw 13.10.1. The bylaw states that "a member institution shall not permit a media entity to be present during any recruiting contact made by an institution's coaching staff member."

The violation is classified as secondary and the bylaw states that "violations of this bylaw do not affect a prospective student-athlete's eligibility and are considered institutional violations."

This is the second time in two weeks UW has self-reported a secondary violation related to recruiting. The other was for simulating a game-day environment as recruits ran down the tunnel of Husky Stadium accompanied by a siren and fog.

The cases will be reviewed by the Pac-10's compliance staff and then forward to the Compliance and Enforcement Committee, which next meets in a few months, to determine any possible penalties.

Boyd is rated as one the top defensive ends in the country and has already given a "soft" verbal commitment to USC. However, he also expressed interest in playing quarterback. The L.A. Times story detailed how UW was also potentially offering a scholarship to his teammate, Purvis, who is not as highly regarded, as an inducement to get Boyd.

Both players had been expected to make official visits to UW this weekend. But reported Thursday that Boyd has canceled the visit and is now solidly committed to USC.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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