WVU alerts compliance dept. after Rushel Shell commits possible secondary NCAA violation

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

West Virginia RB Rushel Shell, an Aliquippa, Pa., native, hasn't suited up for the Mountaineers yet, but a series of tweets at recruit Dravon Henry, who committed Monday to West Virginia, has put Shell in some hot water.

Shell, who sat out the last season after transferring from Pitt — the other school Henry was considering — tweeted earlier Monday to congratulate Henry, a fellow Aliquippa native.

"Everyone go follow my lil bro/new teammate @Dravon_6 when I tell you we gone make big plays next year I ain't lien #WesternPAPipeLine#WV"

While the true crime here may have been against basic grammatical decency, Shell's tweet, which will surely soon be deleted, violates an NCAA bylaw that prohibits players from publicly contacting unsigned recruits — regardless of previous ties and friendships. 

Shell qualifies as a booster, as he has "participated in or has been a member of an organization promoting the university’s athletics programs," and therefore has violated the following rule: "Only institutional staff members are permitted to recruit prospective student-athletes. Generally, NCAA rules prohibit anyone else from contacting (calling, writing or in-person contact) prospects or the prospect’s relatives or guardian for recruiting purposes."

An example provided by the NCAA of an impermissible recruiting activity is "contacting a prospect by telephone, email, Internet or letter."

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A West Virginia spokesperson confirmed Monday afternoon that the compliance department has been alerted to the potential minor violation.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt. 

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