Dude, Where’s My Recruiting Violation?

Posted by jstevrtc on November 1st, 2010

Demi and Ashton Kutcher are at the center of a (very) little controversy involving the University of Iowa basketball program.

According to the Des Moines Register, two high school prospects on a recruiting trip to the school met the two celebrities at a football game in September. Because Kutcher, who is from Iowa, briefly attended the school and is a very visible Hawkeye supporter, he and Demi could be considered as people who “represent the university’s athletic interests,” so having recruits meet them constitutes a violation.

Recruiting Violation...Or the Greatest Punk'd Prank of All Time?

The incident wasn’t fabricated by anyone associated with the university, so it can be considered an “unintentional” violation, and the school voluntarily reported it as such a few days after the encounter. After the recruits were quoted as having met the two celebrities in a suite at Kinnick Stadium during the Iowa vs Iowa State football game, the NCAA sent an inquiry letter to UI about the incident. The school self-reported four days later.

The two prospects in question are said to be Josh Oglesby, rated as a three-star recruit at ESPNU for the class of 2011, and Marcus Paige, rated 28th overall and the third-best point guard in the class of 2012. Oglesby committed to the Hawkeyes after this official visit.

Another aspect of the reported violation is that the high schoolers also met former Iowa players Reggie Evans and Dean Oliver after a pick-up game at Carver-Hawkeye arena, the site of UI’s home games, both of whom would be considered boosters.

Iowa now awaits the final verdict on this from the NCAA, but Iowa athletic director Mark Abbott told the Register that he did not think the incident would affect Oglesby’s verbal committment, or the continued recruitment of Paige. Even if nothing comes of this, you have to admit that the guy behind Punk’d and star of a slew of romantic comedies was the last person you’d ever have fingered in an NCAA recruiting violation.

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