Texas Tech Athletics on Probation
Texas Tech was placed on two years probation by the NCAA on Friday for, what were called, major recruiting violations. The NCAA said that 3 different sports and 16 different head and assistant coaches violated recruiting rules and regulations by contacting prospects by text messaging. Over 1,000 text messages were sent and received by coaches and prospects for football, softball and golf.
Texas Tech did react quickly to this by reporting the infractions themselves to the NCAA and agreeing to the two years probation. No other discipline should or will be handed down by the NCAA for the violations. The softball and men's golf programs sent out a combined 692 text messages over a two year time period. 234 text messages were sent out by former Texas Tech football coaches, including former head coach Mike Leach from 2007 to 2009.
The timing of the probation and the violations coming to surface can actually help Texas Tech more than they can hurt them. The university is currently being sued by former football coach Leach, who was fired back in December 2009. Leach had filed suit against Tech for his termination and it has been an ugly year for both sides in the case. The new information could help shed a more positive light for Tech, in fan support, when it comes to justifying the firing of Leach.
Nine other Tech assistant coaches sent out text messages to recruits. Nearly all of the coaching staff under question for the texts are no longer working at Texas Tech. The penalties have led to the football program to lose on of their football scholarships but have no effects on the Red Raiders in postseason play.
All in all, Texas Tech reacted quickly to the violations and infractions and the university is ready to put the problem behind them. The NCAA is not going to drop the hammer on the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders any more than they already have, but will now be watching the athletic department with a fine toothed comb. Any small violation over the next two years for Tech could lead to major fines and penalties.