- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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The NCAA's "bump rule" prohibits contact between coaches and players during designated no-contact periods in the recruiting calendar. It's a secondary infraction and typically results in little action from the NCAA. All things considered, it's about as minor as NCAA violations can get.
Still, Kentucky fans won't be thrilled at this news: According to Yahoo!'s Prep Rally, John Calipari shook hands and spoke with 16-year-old recruit Austin Kyles during the ScoutsFocus Super 60 Showcase in South Carolina on July 15. The report cites Kyles' father, Dr. Tony Kyles, who was at the camp and confirmed Calipari had indeed approached his son and complimented him on a solid performance:
"After the game, Calipari shook his hand and said, 'Great game,'" Dr. Kyles told Prep Rally. "I think he was just acknowledging, 'Hey, this kid is holding down my senior.'"
Of course, that's just one side of the story. Calipari's version may be different. The Kentucky coach declined comment when reached by ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Friday night.
It's hard to understand why Dr. Tony Kyles would have interest in making up a rather minor violation against a coach they just met, but Calipari deserves a chance to state his own recollections.
Because this is Calipari, you might expect some folks to get a little overheated. The words "Calipari" and "violation" in the same sentence? It seems prudent to duck for cover. In reality, there's not much here. A bump rule violation isn't going to have a drastic effect on your program. Calipari was there to recruit Devonta Pollard and complimented a little-known freshman who defended well against the player he was there to recruit.
In reality, this sort of minor violation is similar to the brief fracas over a phone call Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made to top recruit Alex Poythress in early August. The potential violation was the product of an obscure recruiting rule governing when coaches could talk to players via phone during AAU summer tournaments. Because Coach K was involved, it had the faint whiff of significance. Really, there was nothing there.
Coincidentally, when Duke's potential violation was in the news, many thought Calipari took a veiled shot at Krzyzewski in a radio interview. (Calipari later denied he was talking about Coach K.) The date of that radio interview? Aug. 4, just two weeks after Calipari's alleged bump. Whoops.
Oh, and one more thing: When the Duke story was reported and quickly dismissed as minor, I had a score of emailers and chatters from Big Blue Nation insist that Calipari would have been excoriated if anyone ever found he committed a similar violation.
Well, here you go, guys: If Calipari did what Kyles said he did, oh well. Duke, Kentucky, Northern State Tech, whoever -- minor recruiting violations are universally worthy of our apathy. It's something to keep an eye on, but based on what we know, there won't be -- nor should there be -- any major fallout in the weeks to come.