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NCAA suspends Florida State assistant coach for 3 games for NIL-related recruiting violation

NCAA did not name the coach in its release
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Posted at 10:20 AM, Jan 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 10:20:00-05

PHOENIX (AP) — A Florida State assistant coach has been suspended for the first three games of the 2024 season for violating recruiting rules by connecting a potential transfer with a representative from an NIL collective during an official visit, the NCAA announced on Thursday.

The NCAA did not name the coach in its release, but a person with direct knowledge of the case confirmed to The Associated Press that it was offensive coordinator Alex Atkins. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA nor the school was identifying Atkins as the coach involved.

The case involved two Level II infractions and was resolved as part of a negotiated resolution between NCAA enforcement staff and Florida State, approved by the Committee on Infractions. It is the first time the NCAA has punished a school for using name, image and likeness compensation as recruiting inducement.

Collectives are the booster-funded, independent organizations that support schools by paying athletes for their names, images and likenesses.

Florida State agreed to two years of probation, the loss of a total of five football scholarships over the next two seasons and other restrictions on recruiting, including a reduction of official visits. The school was also fined $5,000.

The NCAA said the coach facilitated contact between the player and a booster in April 2022. The booster encouraged the player to enroll at Florida State and offered him an NIL opportunity with the collective worth about $15,000 per month.

The person told AP the player involved was offensive tackle Amarius Mims from Georgia. Mims entered the transfer portal, but ended up returning to Georgia. He recently announced he was entering the NFL draft as an underclassmen.

The NCAA said the assistant coach then gave false or misleading information about his involvement in the arranged meeting to investigators, violating ethical conduct rules.

Atkins was given a two-year show cause order by the NCAA and had recruiting restrictions placed upon him by the school last year.

The university also must disassociate with the booster for three years and the collective for one year.

Florida State said the NCAA acknowledged no findings of responsibility by head coach Mike Norvell and the COI affirmed Norvell “promotes an atmosphere of compliance.”

“We are pleased to reach closure to this situation and view this as another step in strengthening our culture of compliance at Florida State University,” athletic director Michael Alford said in a statement. “We take all compliance matters very seriously, and our full cooperation with the NCAA on this case is a clear example of that commitment. We remain committed to compliance with all NCAA rules including disassociation of the booster and the collective.”

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll