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“Senior associate athletic director Vince Sweeney said the visits came on a Sunday when recruiting had been allowed in previous years. A change in the NCAA recruiting calendar this year made it the final day of a winter quiet period, he said. "They should have known the calendar changed," he said. "We didn't forgive them, but that's how it happened. They felt terrible about it." He said the handling of the violations demonstrates Wisconsin's aggressive efforts to ensure compliance with NCAA rules. In reporting the violations, the university declared the recruit from Cincinnati ineligible but asked the NCAA to reinstate him. The university learned Thursday the recruit had been reinstated -- and his family was surprised to find out there had been a problem, Sweeney said. In the future, Sweeney said the department would consider telling players and parents about such "routine, procedural" problems that may affect eligibility. In this instance, he said the school was confident all along the player would be reinstated. He said he does not expect the NCAA to take further action. NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said most of the 2,000 requests for reinstatement are granted each year and infractions for recruiting calendar violations are fairly common. The NCAA limits recruiting contacts to prevent students from being inundated with requests from coaches while they are finishing high school, she said. Osburn said minor violations such as Wisconsin's are defined as giving only a minimal recruiting advantage. She would not say what action, if any, the NCAA has taken in response to Wisconsin's report. In its report to the NCAA, the school said Waterfield met with Coach Bret Bielema "to emphasize the importance of adhering to all recruiting calendar guidelines at all times." The school said it also prohibited three coaches from participating during the first two days of the spring recruiting period this month. In his letter of admonishment, Waterfield praised the coaches for cooperating with the investigation. But he also said the letters would be added to their personnel files and that NCAA violations "may also affect your salary and/or your employment status."
They should have known the calendar changed. We didn't forgive them, but that's how it happened. They felt terrible about it.” -- Wisconsin senior associate AD Vince Sweeney