According to the NCAA, Mullen didn’t promote an “atmosphere of compliance” therefore he was given a one-year show cause penalty for recruiting violations.
The NCAA laid out the details of the Level II recruiting violations which involved one of the team’s assistant coaches and Mullen making “impermissible in-person contact with a prospect.” In total, the NCAA found that Mullen and his staff had impermissible contact with approximately 127 prospects.
The university, the head football coach, an assistant coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the assistant coach and head coach had impermissible in-person contact with a prospect when they met with a prospect’s high school coach while the prospect was in the room. At that meeting, the Florida coaches expressed an interest in recruiting the prospect. Leading up to that visit, the head coach sent the prospect texts about his upcoming visit to the high school and his interest in recruiting the prospect. NCAA rules were violated because off-campus recruiting contacts are not allowed until after a football prospect’s junior year of high school. The violations were Level II.
According to the agreement, members of the coaching staff also had impermissible contact with approximately 127 prospects when seven nonscholastic football teams visited the campus and toured the football facilities on their way to a tournament in Tampa. The assistant coach had incidental impermissible contacts with several prospects. The violations were Level III.
You can see the full list of punishments handed to Florida in the announcement, but these are a few of the most notable:
- A one-year show-cause order for the head football coach. During that period, the head coach is prohibited from all off-campus recruiting activity during the fall 2020 evaluation period and a four-day off-campus recruiting ban during the fall 2021 contact period.
- The university banned the head coach from recruiting for the first 10 days of the January 2020 contact period.
- A 30-day off-campus recruiting ban for the head coach during the fall 2019 evaluation period.
Mullen has been the head coach at Florida since 2018 and most recently led the Gators to the SEC Championship game against Alabama. Florida is scheduled to play Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on December 30.