NCAA determines Geno Auriemma’s call to Mo’ne Davis a secondary violation, statement from UConn AD Warde Manuel
Statement from University of Connecticut athletic director Warde Manuel:
Over the last 24 hours, the University of Connecticut, the American Athletic Conference and the NCAA have been working together to determine whether a violation occurred when head women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma spoke with Mo’ne Davis over the phone during the 2014 Little League World Series. The NCAA has determined a secondary rules violation of bylaw 18.104.22.168 did occur and while UConn accepts this decision, we do not agree with it.
Prior to attempting to reach Davis, Coach Auriemma checked with the UConn compliance department and was advised such a call would be permissible since Davis is not considered a prospective student-athlete by the NCAA and the call was to be congratulatory rather than recruiting in nature.
While UConn will continue to adhere to the NCAA and conference rules, I believe that upon request from a friend to Geno, a proud Philadelphian, to call a young lady representing the City of Brotherly Love who had accomplished historic feats in the Little League World Series, should not constitute a violation especially due to the fact that NCAA rules do not classify Mo’ne as a prospective student-athlete.
The nature of Coach Auriemma’s two-minute conversation with Mo’ne had nothing to do with recruiting and instead had everything to do with congratulating and encouraging Mo’ne to continued success.
I consider this matter closed and we will have no further comment.
According to the Hartford Courant, another school reported UConn for alleged recruiting violations regarding the highly-publicized phone call.
From the newspaper:
“The conversation lasted like two minutes and we hung up,” Auriemma said. “And then I was told a school turned us in for a recruiting violation because we are not allowed contact of July 1 before her junior year of high school. … That’s the world that we live in.”
Davis, a pitching phenom who led her Philadelphia team to the Little League World Series semifinals last month, has worn a UConn hoodie at several public appearances including a WNBA Western Conference final game in Minneapolis when she met former Husky stars including her favorite player Maya Moore. She has repeatedly stated that her dream is to attend UConn and play for Auriemma.