Editor's note: After a review, the University of Alabama's compliance office has denied that an infraction occurred. The original story, which stated that the university did commit a violation, has been changed to reflect the uncertainty of the possible violation.
The University of Alabama and Heritage Hall running back Barry J. Sanders are once again in the news regarding NCAA violations.
Alabama possibly committed an NCAA violation with Sanders at an Alabama basketball game Saturday night. Sanders was making his second visit to Alabama, this time for the school's junior day.
Sanders is No. 1 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 for the top football recruits for the class of 2012. He has 15 offers and considers Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma State and UCLA as his four favorites.
During his visit to Alabama, Sanders was shown on the video board during the basketball game, sitting alongside Alabama football coach Nick Saban. Sanders' image prompted Alabama fans to cheer and start a “We Want Barry!” chant in the student section.
It was not a violation for Sanders and Saban to be sitting together at the basketball game. However, putting Sanders' image on the video board is a violation of NCAA rule 13.11.5 that says: “An institution may not introduce a visiting prospect at a function (e.g., the institution's sports award banquet or an intercollegiate athletics contest) that is attended by media representatives or open to the general public.”
If it was unintentional, the offense will most likely be classified as a secondary violation by the NCAA and would not affect Sanders' eligibility. An SEC official told SportsbyBrooks.com that Alabama is aware of the infraction and will report the violation to the NCAA this week. It is classified as an institutional violation and has nothing to do with the recruit.
Last month Saban and Sanders were also in the news when Saban visited the Heritage Hall campus.
Saban and the Heritage Hall administration agree that there was no wrongdoing done by Saban when he visited with Sanders. They said it was just a greeting, which is allowed and within the NCAA guidelines.
Sanders said Saban was talking to Heritage Hall defensive coordinator Mark Adams and overheard Saban tell Adams that Alabama running back Mark Ingram was going to enter the NFL Draft.