David K Purdy / Getty Images Contributor
Words I never thought I’d write: Dick Vitale is a voice of reason.
Iowa ran afoul of NCAA rules recently when recruits Josh Oglesby and Marcus Page met Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore at a Hawkeyes football game last month. The Des Moines Register reports school officials admit they allowed the meeting to happen, even though it’s against the rules to have contact with any individual/booster who can influence the recruiting process.
But I have to agree with college basketball’s ubiquitous announcer. It’s a lame rule.
And one that USC, UCLA or any other school with famous alums must constantly straddle. How could they not? Famous alums – particularly athletes – are a helluva recruiting tool. Don’t dismiss Kutcher and Moore as lesser stars, either. Paige didn’t.
“Seeing a Hollywood star that you’ve seen in all those movies was really cool,” Paige told IowaPrepSports.com earlier this month..
But, as Jeff Eisenberg points out, Iowa probably won’t get dinged too badly for it.
Whether it’s North Carolina recruits playing pick-up games with Michael Jordan or former Ohio State receiver Cris Carter encouraging Seantrel Henderson to become a Buckeye, encounters between recruits and celebrity alums happen all the time. The vast majority of these infractions either go unreported or become secondary violations, which provide only minimal recruiting or competitive advantage and typically carry only minor consequences.
Make new Iowa coach Fran McCaffery sit through back-to-back showings of Kutcher’s next movie. That would be enough punishment.