Oklahoma football: NCAA nearly suspended OU assistant Jay Norvell over tweets

JAY NORVELL — Oklahoma's co-offensive coordinator sent Twitter messages to high school players that violated NCAA rules and nearly earned him a one-game suspension.
FROM WIRE REPORTS Published: December 20, 2012
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OU also said Norvell sent a letter to the six prospects, telling them he had violated an NCAA rule and rescinding the offer, although he said in those letters that Oklahoma still would recruit them. The university required Norvell to attend a 2012 NCAA rules seminar and banned the football staff from sending general correspondence and electronic correspondence for two weeks to the six prospects.

The university said it also provided specific rules education to its entire football staff pertaining to written offers of financial aid, electronic correspondence and the use of social media during the recruiting process.

In a Sept. 25 letter, Renee Gomila, the NCAA's associate director of enforcement for secondary infractions, said while the NCAA agreed with the university that Norvell's violation should be classified as secondary — as opposed to major — Norvell should be suspended for one game and the university should reduce the remaining number of in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with the prospects by two.

Gomila said that similar future violations "may result in the head coach being suspended from all coaching-related activities" for at least one game.

The university filed its appeal of Norvell's suspension on Oct. 23, citing similar cases at Iowa, Clemson, Mississippi, Memphis and Tennessee. The university called the suspension "inappropriate, excessive and not supported by case precedent (institutions with like penalties)."

In a Dec. 5 response, Strobel said the NCAA enforcement staff had "reevaluated" the case and set aside Gomila's recommendation. The letter did not give a reason for the NCAA's change of heart.

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