Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich calls out Oregon State for trying to recruit his players

Nick Rolovich is entering his third season as the head coach at Hawaii. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich directly called out the Oregon State football program on Twitter early Friday morning, and he seems to have a pretty good reason for it.

Rolovich tweeted several photos that appear to show Oregon State directly trying to recruit some of his players. Oregon State even sent invitations to its spring game. Rolovich, who tagged Oregon State compliance, Pac-12 compliance and the NCAA (and LaVar Ball???), among others, on the tweet, joked that they could not attend because Hawaii’s was held the same day, April 28.

Here’s a closer look at those images. It shows several recruiting pamphlets sent directly to the Hawaii’s campus in late March.

(via @NickRolovich)
(via @NickRolovich)
(via @NickRolovich)
(via @NickRolovich)

That’s pretty brazen from Oregon State. It’s also illegal. Once a student-athlete signs a national letter of intent with a university, other schools cannot contact him or her. If they do, it’s tampering and an NCAA violation.

NCAA Bylaw precludes athletics staff members of member institutions from contacting student-athletes at other four-year institutions without first obtaining written permission from the director of athletics at the institution where the student-athlete is enrolled. Without that permission, institutional staff members are not allowed to encourage the student-athlete to transfer. During the time period that the violations occurred, NCAA Bylaw prohibited institutional staff members from sending text messages to prospective student-athletes.

The only explanation I can surmise here is maybe the players Oregon State, which is entering its first season with Jonathan Smith as head coach, attempted to contact had requested releases from Hawaii. However, based on what Rolovich wrote — “none of you realized you couldn’t actively recruit another school’s players?” — that seems very unlikely.

Oregon State said later Friday that it is investigating the situation.

“Oregon State Athletics and head coach Jonathan Smith became aware of unintentional mailings directed at a University of Hawaii student-athlete this morning,” the school said in a statement. “We are committed to following NCAA rules and are looking into this matter fully.”

Hawaii did not respond when asked for further comment by Yahoo Sports.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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