Texas A&M football was placed on probation for a year and coach Jimbo Fisher was given a six-month show-cause order after he and the program were found to have violated NCAA recruiting and athletic-related activity rules.
The findings, released on Thursday, stemmed from violations between January 2018 and February 2019, including an instance in which Fisher and an assistant coach had impermissible contact with a recruit. As part of the negotiated resolution, the school had to end recruitment of the recruit in question.
The NCAA did not name the assistant coach, but Texas A&M later identified him as Jay Graham, who is now an assistant at Tennessee.
Fisher, who was found to have “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance” and “did not demonstrate that he monitored his staff,” was forced to serve a nine-day ban on phone calls, emails and texts with prospects in January.
“While I am disappointed in the violations, including an unintended one that resulted from a conversation with a high school athlete, it is still my responsibility to ensure we are adhering to each and every rule. I am pleased to have this matter completely behind our program and look forward to continuing our efforts to make every aspect of our program one all Aggies can continue to be proud of,” Fisher said in a statement from the school.
Fisher’s show-cause will be in place through the rest of 2020, and Graham was also given a six-month show-cause order and other penalties.
The football program was also found to have caused its players to exceed activity time limits by about seven hours for multiple weeks during the spring and summer of 2018.
In addition to the probation, Texas A&M was fined $5,000 and received several other recruiting restrictions.
“Since I arrived at Texas A&M, I have seen up close and personal Coach Fisher’s commitment to integrity and following the rules. I appreciate his response, including actions taken during the process itself. As a result, the program moves forward and remains on track in both our short and long-term quest for excellence. This will have no impact on our current or future student-athletes, the 2020 postseason, or our pursuit of championship success on and off the field,” athletic director Ross Bjork said in the statement.