The University of Colorado Boulder’s football program self-reported 11 NCAA violations that occurred during their first season under head coach Deion Sanders, according to documents obtained by USA Today. While these violations were minor in nature, they covered a range of areas such as recruiting efforts with transfers and Sanders’ use of social media. The university stated that they are committed to complying with NCAA regulations and take all infractions seriously, regardless of severity.
Two of the violations occurred in May 2023 when the Buffaloes hosted a postgraduate football camp. Prospective transfers who had not entered the transfer portal attended, which violated NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52. As a result, the NCAA imposed a two-week recruiting ban from June 15-28 and a one-day recruiting ban on transfers beginning on December 4, the day the fall transfer portal window opened. Additionally, the recruits involved were deemed permanently ineligible to play for the Buffaloes.
Colorado argued that this violation should be seen as a procedural issue rather than a tampering violation. Another violation related to Sanders’ use of social media. In the same month, he hosted an Instagram Live session featuring a prospective athlete, which violated NCAA rule 184.108.40.206 that prohibits recruits from participating in any media activity conducted by an NCAA head coach. The entire football coaching staff received a one-week ban from recruiting on the road and holding evaluations as a penalty.
Other violations included a prospective athlete entering the locker room during a pregame speech, which Colorado claimed was due to a security breakdown. There was also an incident involving Sanders’ social media team inadvertently revealing a spreadsheet listing names of prospective recruits.
The Buffaloes had a rough debut season under Sanders, finishing with a 4-8 record. They started strong, going 3-0 and briefly appearing in the AP Top 25 rankings before dropping eight of their final nine games. However, the team is looking to bounce back in the upcoming 2024 season as they return to the Big 12 after spending 13 seasons in the Pac-12.