An LSU football player received a car ride from an agent earlier this year, committing an NCAA rules violation the school reported in August.
Meanwhile, two pregame sideline interactions by recruits prompted the university to alter its sideline policy for prospects and their families.
All of the violations were reported by the school this fall and obtained by The Advocate through a public records request. They are secondary in nature and carry no real penalty. Schools report dozens of secondary violations each year. LSU uses the violations as a way to educate players and coaches.
The unnamed player who received the ride from an agent had to repay the value of the car ride to his charity of choice, and the school also forced the player to give a presentation on agents to teammates.
Names of players and coaches are not released in documents detailing violations. The exact date of the violation is also not detailed. It was reported on Aug. 25, during the final week of preseason camp.
The university also reported two secondary violations stemming from recruits’ interactions on the sideline during pregame festivities. As a result of the violations, the university created a restricted area for recruits and their families to stand for LSU’s final home game against Florida on Nov. 19.
During official recruiting visits in the fall, prospects and their families mill about the sideline before games, watching pregame warmups and posing for photos. The NCAA closely governs a prospect’s associations during official visits.
A prospect shook hands with a former LSU athlete on the sideline before one home game, and another took a photo with a local song artist before a game. The incidents were reported Nov. 17, 10 days after LSU’s most recent home game against Alabama.
Former LSU football players often roam the sidelines before games, specifically ahead of national showdowns like the one against the top-ranked Crimson Tide. LSU has personnel in place to assure prospects do not mingle with ex-players. Sharon Lewis, assistant athletic director in charge of football recruiting and alumni relations, oversees this.
"Keeping former players and prospective student-athletes separate is a challenge for any institution," said Bo Bahnsen, LSU senior associate athletic director for compliance and planning.
Officials are taking steps to avoid such violations in the future, Bahnsen said. This includes making permanent the sideline policy that sequesters prospects and their families to a restricted area on the sideline during pregame.
It’s unclear what local artist appeared in a photo with a recruit. New Orleans-born rapper Lil Wayne served as the guest picker on ESPN College GameDay the morning of the LSU-Alabama game. GameDay, ESPN’s pregame college football show, broadcast from on campus that day. It’s not uncommon for guests of GameDay to appear on the sideline before and during a game.