Minnesota will be self-reporting an NCAA violation involving new coach P.J. Fleck and his contact with a former player, according to a report from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. However, that violation reportedly does not involve Fleck attempting to recruit players from Western Michigan — his last coaching stop — to the Gophers.
Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle suggested that Fleck had some personal contact with Western Michigan players after taking the Minnesota job, and not that he was trying to recruit them to the Gophers.
“From my understanding, even if a coach sends a former student-athlete a text that even says ‘happy birthday,’ that’s a violation,” Coyle told the Pioneer Press.
Coyle also said that he has talked with Western Michigan AD Kathy Beauregard and “reassured her we are not recruiting students from Western Michigan.”
Last week Western Michigan’s leading tackler from the 2016 season, Robert Spillane, announced his decision to transfer. Spillane and Minnesota both denied a report that Fleck influenced his decision to leave Western Michigan.
Fleck took the Minnesota job in January after four seasons with the Broncos. He led Western Michigan to a 13-1 record in 2016 and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl.