FAU defensive coordinator Chris Kiffin attempted to convince the NCAA that three of the NCAA violations he’s accused of don’t warrant a “show cause” ruling from the NCAA while flatly denying the fourth violation in his response to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations while at Ole Miss.
In his response, prepared by lawyer William Quin, Kiffin admitted he improperly arranged for lodging of a person who was not a direct family member of a recruit during a visit, provided brief lodging at his personal residence for a then-Ole Miss football player and made impermissible contact with two recruits.
Kiffin strenuously denied that he directed another member of the Rebels’ staff to arrange for family members of four recruits to receive free Ole Miss merchandise. In a separate response, Barney Farrar, the member of the Ole Miss staff in question, also denies the allegations.
The NCAA reviews the responses from all parties involved before issuing a ruling. College sport’s governing body could find Kiffin not at fault, decide the self-imposed punishments by Ole Miss were sufficient or impose further penalties, including a potential “show cause” penalty.
To the allegation of improper lodging provided to a person associated with a recruit, Kiffin’s response noted that the associate of the recruit in question served as the player’s defacto father and that the recruit didn’t have any affiliation with his biological father. For that indiscretion, Ole Miss forced Kiffin to attend a rules seminar at his own expense.
The response to that particular allegation included 29 similar violations across college athletics where the coach who committed the offense did not receive a “show cause” punishment.
Institutions generally do not hire coaches who have received a “show cause” order. If they do, they have to demonstrate to the NCAA why the coach in question deserves the opportunity and the steps the school is taking to ensure the coach abides by NCAA rules. The institution also must appear in front of an NCAA committee every six months to show the coach is complying with NCAA rules.
Kiffin served as the Ole Miss defensive line coach from 2011-16. FAU knew Kiffin, brother of head coach Lane Kiffin, was under investigation by the NCAA for potential rules violations at the time they interviewed him and still hired Chris to be their defensive coordinator.
The NCAA traditionally does not penalize a school that has hired a coach under investigation even if a “show cause” punishment is eventually issued to that coach for actions at a previous school.
Ole Miss imposed upon Kiffin a 30-day prohibition from contacting the recruits he spoke with improperly and was limited to one off-campus contact with both recruits. Neither recruit enrolled at Ole Miss.
Kiffin argued that while the NCAA cited some of the allegations as being Level II violations, they should be more accurately classified as Level III infractions – reducing the penalties.
FAU signed Chris Kiffin to a three-year, $300,000 per-year contract in December.
The NCAA is currently investigating more than 20 alleged violations by Ole Miss, dating back several years. Those allegations include “lack of institutional control” and “failure to monitor” – two of the biggest possible violations as far at the NCAA is concerned. The four allegations against Kiffin are part of that overall investigation.
Kiffin’s full response to the allegations can be found here.