Micah Parsons, a five-star defensive lineman from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is expected to announce his decision on Wednesday when the early signing period opens.
And we now know he won’t choose Ohio State, a school once thought to be the leader to land his commitment. Why? Well, OSU committed recruiting violations when Parsons visited campus back in September and self-reported them to the NCAA.
According to The Lantern, Ohio State’s student newspaper, the Buckeyes stopped recruiting Parsons after self-reporting the violations. The violations, which involve ESPN’s “College GameDay,” are only part of the equation when it comes to OSU’s halted recruitment of Parsons, but they are another example of how intricate some NCAA recruiting rules can be.
Via an open records request, The Lantern was able to uncover that violations were self-reported to the NCAA on Sept. 26, a few weeks after Parsons made his official visit to Columbus for the Oklahoma game on the weekend of Sept. 9. The violations occurred when Parsons visited the set of ESPN’s “College GameDay.”
While on a campus tour led by football recruiting assistant Ed Terwilliger, the recruit met Kirk Herbstreit on the show’s set, took a photo with two College GameDay analysts who are not former Ohio State players — believed to be Lee Corso and Rece Davis — while sitting on-stage, and met Eddie George off the set, according to the records. Though recruits on official visits are able to speak with former student-athletes of the school they are visiting, they are not allowed to “have contact with members of the media associated with former student-athletes.”
Additionally, Parsons and his parents were given credentials to the production area in front of the show’s set. That arrangement was deemed an improper benefit and was included among the violations reported by OSU.
— Big Star (@BigStarRawSport) September 9, 2017
While on a visit of campus with Terwilliger, the recruit’s parents requested to stop at the set of the ESPN show since they had never seen it before, according to the records. After Herbstreit recognized and greeted Terwilliger, the group entered the production area and were given credentials by a producer. Then, Herbstreit invited the recruit on the stage following a commercial break. The recruit posed for a photo between “two nationally known ESPN analysts,” then headed off the stage with his father to rejoin Terwilliger and his mother when the show was about to return to the air. Once off the stage, Herbstreit introduced the recruit to George. Terwilliger, the recruit and his parents then left to continue the tour of The Oval and academic buildings.
— Adam Friedman (@RivalsFriedman) September 10, 2017
Because of the violations, Terwilliger was suspended for one game and reprimanded and, as is customary for self-reporting violations, the school’s compliance department beefed up its “compliance education” for football staff. The NCAA did not take any further action.
Parsons is rated as the fifth-best prospect in the entire country by Rivals.com. He verbally committed to Penn State in February 2016 before backing off that pledge in April. He listed Penn State, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Ohio State as the final six schools in the running for his signature, but it would be a surprise if he did not circle back around and sign with the Nittany Lions on Wednesday.
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