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Secondary violations for all

2/17/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Secondary violations have been in the news lately in the SEC thanks to Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and the Vols' compliance department.

For what it's worth, I doubt Kiffin nor anybody on his staff traded Valentine's Day presents with Tennessee associate athletic director for compliance Brad Bertani, who's good at his job -- which is keeping Tennessee out of NCAA trouble.

The best compliance directors are rarely chummy with the football or basketball coaches. In fact, chummy compliance directors are often times synonymous with that phrase that sends chills down the spine of all college administrators, coaches and fans -- lack of institutional control.

That said, it's important to remember that every school has secondary violations. If you're not self-reporting secondary violations, that's usually when you have a problem.

What made the three secondary violations involving Kiffin a bigger deal was that he made himself an open target by erroneously calling Florida's Urban Meyer out for committing a violation and then has his own university pop him for three violations.

It's also true that all secondary violations aren't reported in the media. Some are higher profile than others.

For example, Georgia self-reported 14 secondary violations during the first six months of 2008, according to The Athens Banner-Herald. Only five of those violations involved the football program, though. Among those violations were a recruit and his family being provided transportation by an athletic representative and the coaching staff going to a recruit's high school one more time than was permitted during the spring evaluation period.

Repeated secondary violations can definitely take their toll, too.

As Stacey Osburn of the NCAA shared with me this week, there's always a penalty associated with secondary violations, which will range from a letter of reprimand to a financial fine, dependent on the scope and specifics of the violation.