Sunday, May 20, 2018
Colleges

FAU assistant Chris Kiffin accused of four NCAA violations while at Ole Miss

Florida Atlantic defensive coordinator Chris Kiffin accepted three of the NCAA's alleged violations against him while an assistant at Ole Miss, but vehemently denied another, according to his response to the NCAA publicly released Friday.

The four allegations against Kiffin are part of 21 offenses the NCAA has accused Ole Miss of committing. The most recent offense occurred in May 2014, when Kiffin was Ole Miss' defensive line coach.

He joined FAU's staff in December of last year and is the brother of first-year FAU coach Lane Kiffin.

Here are the allegations against Chris Kiffin:

• During a January 2013 official visit, Kiffin arranged for free hotel lodging and food for family members of a recruit that weren't his parents or legal guardians. The accommodations totaled approximately $1,027. Kiffin admitted to the violation, which was deemed a Level II offense. Kiffin lobbied for it to be reduced to a Level III violation.

The response labeled the violation as "the product of miscommunication and distraction," since Kiffin misunderstood the recruit's familial relationships. The response listed 29 similar violations that were classified as Level III instead of Level II.

• During January 2013 official visit, Kiffin allegedly arranged for a recruit to receive about $400 worth of free merchandise from a local store. The violation also implicated another Ole Miss staffer and labeled the violation a Level I offense.

Kiffin denied the offense, pointing to "issues of credibility, factual contradictions, and overwhelming evidence of bias and motive to lie are too great for the enforcement staff to overcome." The response listed six other individuals who denied the event took place and didn't show any communication between Kiffin and the store owner before the official visit.

• During the summer of 2013, Kiffin allowed an Ole Miss player to stay at his residence for two nights. The violation was valued at $33 and labeled a Level III offense. Kiffin admitted to it.

• In May 2014, Kiffin held two impermissible, off-campus contacts with recruits, including a 10-minute conversation. Kiffin admitted to the Level III offense, but claimed it was "unplanned and isolated."

Ole Miss punished Kiffin for his violations in a variety of ways. He wasn't allowed to recruit off-campus for 30 days and was prohibited from contacting both recruits for 30 days. He had to attend a NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in May 2015.

The school also claimed to reject Kiffin's request for a multi-year contract due, in part, to his NCAA violations. Kiffin is the only FAU assistant with a three-year deal.

The response ended by saying: "Kiffin accepts responsibility for his violations and respectfully submits he has been sufficiently disciplined."

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