Oregon State Football has been accused of attempting to poach recruits by Hawaii’s head coach Nick Rolovich. Oregon State has sent out invitations to players currently on Hawaii’s roster to attend the Beavers’ spring football game.
My apologies for our players not being able to attend your Spring game. Ours was the same day, bad timing. Quick question, in the 203 years of coaching, none of you realized you couldn’t actively recruit another school’s players? Sent to campus? #leakydam #sloppybeavers pic.twitter.com/2djcmgFbLH— Nick Rolovich (@NickRolovich) May 4, 2018
This is, to say the least, a big deal. The NCAA does not look kindly on schools that attempt to circumvent the recruiting process. Imagine if the University of Oregon or USC was attempting to get OSU recruits to head south. An actual reporter, SB Nation’s Bud Elliot, sums up the infraction.
As a homer who is willing to give Oregon State the benefit of the doubt, I think there are two possibilities.
1: Oregon State is attempting to poach Hawaii’s recruits
In the transition from Gary Andersen to Jonathan Smith, Oregon State added to coaches from Hawaii’s staff. Kefense Hynson, OSU’s Wide Receivers coach, and Legi Suiaunoa, OSU’s Defensive Line coach, both coached for the Rainbow Warriors prior to being hired by Oregon State. It’s possible they, and the Oregon State football hierarchy, attempted to grab some of Hawaii’s recruits to help strengthen the Beaver roster.
If so, they went about it in one of the stupidest ways possible. There was no way this wouldn’t be caught by someone at Hawaii, or someone with the NCAA, or just someone nosy who would be willing to snoop. The best defense for Oregon State at this point is that if this was an honest attempt to cheat, it wouldn’t have been executed in such a ham-fisted fashion.
2: Oregon State accidentally added players it shouldn’t have onto an official mailing list
It’s possible that in the tumult of a massive coaching staff switch over, bringing in coaches from all sorts of different programs, somehow a list of recruits that shouldn’t have been contacted got added into a list of recruits that should have been. This doesn’t really explain how a University of Hawaii address would have been added on to those recruits, but it appears to be the excuse the athletic department is going with. According to The Oregonian, the OSU athletic department released the following statement.
As of yet, the NCAA has not responded, and whether or not Oregon State will face any official sanctions remains to be seen.