Micah Parsons, the nation’s No. 4 high school football prospect according to 247 Sports, will make his college decision Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA’s newfangled early signing period. According to a Twitter video the defensive end posted Monday, he’s down to six schools: Penn State, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Ohio State.
He can cross one of those schools off his list, apparently. According to the Lantern, Ohio State’s student newspaper, the Buckeyes have agreed to stop recruiting Parsons after self-reporting a violation to the NCAA involving his official visit to the school on Sept. 9, the day of Ohio State’s game against Oklahoma.
It all has to do with the presence of ESPN’s “College Gameday” pregame show, which that Saturday was broadcasting from Columbus. While on his official visit, Parsons had an on-set visit with former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit, a “Gameday” co-host, along with other members of the show who are not Ohio State alums. He also met with former Buckeyes running back Eddie George, who was the “guest picker” for the show that week.
Photos of these meetings have been posted to social media, with Parsons himself putting up one of them on his Instagram feed:
According to a copy of the violation report obtained by the Lantern’s Colin Hass-Hill via open-records request, Ohio State admitted that Parsons’s meetings with the ESPN personalities violated a number of NCAA recruiting rules.
“As such, a violation of NCAA Bylaws 13.10.1 and 18.104.22.168 occurred, as members of the media may not be present during an institution’s recruiting contact with a prospect and a prospect may not participate in team activities that would make the public or media aware of the prospect’s visit to the institution,” Ohio State’s self-violation report said, per the Lantern.
Plus, recruits are allowed to speak with former team members during their official visits but not “members of the media associated with former student-athletes.” So if Parsons had simply limited his interactions to Herbstreit and George — both former Buckeyes — he and Ohio State probably would have been in the clear.
Ohio State also self-reported an improper benefit given to Parsons: The fact that football recruiting assistant Ed Terwilliger arranged for Parsons and his parents to enter the “Gameday” production area in front of the set, which is inaccessible to the public. Terwilliger was suspended for one game and was given a letter of reprimand by the school, according to the Lantern.
The NCAA determined that Ohio State’s self-punishment was sufficient and will not take any further action, the Lantern reports.
Parsons caused a separate stir at Ohio State on the night of his official visit, after the Buckeyes suffered a 31-16 loss to Oklahoma. After a reporter tweeted out that Coach Urban Meyer was not considering a change at quarterback, Parsons said the team should start Dwayne Haskins instead of J.T. Barrett.
Parsons apologized the next morning.
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