Monday, June 13, 2011

Innocent comments on Russell Wilson could cost Wisconsin an NCAA violation

Russell Wilson's "grand slam" visit to Wisconsin could cost the Badgers a secondary NCAA violation thanks to senior wide receiver Nick Toon, who spoke about Wilson's trip to a local television station last Friday.

"Whenever you can bring someone in of his caliber it is going to add some competition at the quarterback spot," Toon said. "And competition brings out the best in everybody and that's great. Hopefully he comes here.

"I met him last week. He seems to be a great guy. I liked him a lot. Hopefully we'll see him in a Wisconsin uniform next fall."

According to NCAA rules, no one within the athletic department -- not even student-athletes -- are allowed to publicly comment on the status of players not enrolled in the university.

NCAA bylaw 13.10.2 gives the skinny:

"Before the signing of a prospective student-athlete to a National Letter of Intent or an institution's written offer of admission and/or financial aid, a member institution may comment publicly only to the extent of confirming its recruitment of the prospective student-athlete. The institution may not comment generally about the prospective student-athlete's ability or the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution's team; further, the institution is precluded from commenting in any manner as to the likelihood of the prospective student-athlete's signing with that institution. Violations of this bylaw do not affect a prospective student-athlete's eligibility."

Remember when I had my little lesson on how easy it is to break NCAA rules? Well, here's a perfect example. Toon was minding his own business at a tennis tournament when the station approached him. He was nice enough to do the interview and this is what he gets for his trouble.

Luckily, this will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist, if that. It's clear Toon wasn't trying to taint the recruiting process, he was just trying to respond to a couple questions. Pretty sure he's not a malicious rule-breaker that the NCAA needs to spend any time on, and more importantly, Wilson shouldn't feel any backlash from the wrist slap either.

Wilson has not announced where (or if ) he will play his final collegiate season. Wilson graduated and was granted his release from N.C. State, and has since been shopping his quarterbacking talents much to the chagrin of the Colorado Rockies, who expect him to continue playing in their farm system. Wilson was drafted in the fourth round by the Rockies last year and has been playing with their affiliate, the Asheville Tourists. He's expected to finish the season with the Tourists, which runs until at least Sept. 5, but Wisconsin's fall camp begins in August and the Badgers open the season against UNLV on Sept. 1. If Wilson decides to play college football, he'll probably have to pay back his $250,000 signing bonus.

Zooey Deschanel Tara Reid Coco Lee Katy Perry Vinessa Shaw

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