Colorado self-reported a number of minor NCAA violations in football under Deion Sanders

Since his hire in December 2022, coach Deion Sanders and the Colorado football team have been fined for 11 minor NCAA violations. Some of these offenses demonstrate how the 452-page NCAA rulebook can occasionally cause problems for a coach who uses social media often.

Documentation of the infractions was provided to USA TODAY Sports; all of the infractions were self-reported to the NCAA by the university, and none of them carried a significant penalty risk.

To be fair, these kinds of infractions are frequent in almost every major college sports department. Ohio State, for example, reported two infractions in football in 2022–2023; Alabama, on the other hand, self-reported nine infractions in the same year, with no football violations. Rather than not reporting them at all to evade inspection, self-reporting them is regarded as a good indication of diligence and integrity. All seem to have been unintentional infractions of the often complicated NCAA rulebook.

In this instance, the infractions under Sanders offer insight into how his constant usage of social media occasionally put technical rules to the test. Sanders’s transfer-heavy recruitment strategy for Colorado occasionally went afoul of NCAA rules.

 Deion Sanders


An illegal “gameday simulation” for a recruit resulted from a security lapse in one instance. The NCAA then wrote that “future similar violations may result in more significant penalties including suspension of the head coach from a contest.”According to the documents obtained by USA TODAY Sports, Colorado self-reported at least 16 minor infractions in athletics total found since December 2022, including the 11 in football. When Sanders and the university were contacted for comment, Colorado released the following statement:

“The University of Colorado Boulder Athletic Department is committed to complying with NCAA regulations and will continue to educate our coaches, student-athletes, and staff to ensure that we remain in compliance, “the statement read. “We take all infractions seriously, regardless of the severity, and in these specific cases, these minor infractions were all self-reported to the NCAA.” ”

A postgraduate camp was held in Colorado on May 30 for recent high school graduates and transfer students from other universities who had registered through the transfer portal. Although over 350 athletes took part, the university subsequently discovered that seven of them were not in the transfer portal’s “active” state, in violation of rule, which forbids interfering with a transfer prospect who is not registered there. When a different NCAA school revealed that one of its players attended the camp without previously giving notice of a transfer, the infraction was uncovered.The school punished them by banning all recruiting activity for two weeks, from June 15 to June 28, and by banning all recruiting activity involving transfer recruits for one day, starting on the first day of the portal window in December 2023. The majority of the recruits in question were from smaller universities, and Colorado deemed them permanently ineligible. The football staff was instructed to receive rules education.

The school stated, “Although this is against NCAA Bylaw, the intention was not to solicit enrollment to CU Boulder before a student-athlete entered the transfer portal.” “We had very little communication with the participants, and it was all about their involvement in the camp. We think that rather than being considered a tampering offense, this infraction should be seen more as a procedural matter.

The issue arose from the fact that campers were not required to verify their presence on the transfer portal.According to the study, “no extra measures were taken to bar participants who did not fulfill the camp requirements from participating.”

 Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders’ breach on Instagram
As a punishment for the May 16 violation, all Colorado football coaches were barred from recruiting while traveling in May 2023, and recruitment assessments were prohibited for a week.


At that point, Sanders was using his Instagram account to organize a live Instagram session, during which a potential recruit was highlighted. Although the recruit’s name was withheld from public records from the institution, USA TODAY Sports has identified him as receiver Aaron Butler. Butler verbally committed to play for Sanders during that webcast, but he ultimately decided to sign with Texas last month after having second thoughts.

Although Sanders and Butler did not speak in public, Sanders was a prominent participant for approximately two minutes, in violation of NCAA rule, a bylaw that forbids recruits from participating in media activities led by a school’s head coach.

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