Photo: Kutcher Photo Incriminates Hawkeye Hoops

Tom Witosky of the DES MOINES REGISTER breaks the news today that the University of Iowa has admitted to NCAA recruiting violations resulting from contact between two basketball recruits and Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.

Ashton Kutcher photo with Marcus Paige

On Sept. 15, the NCAA sent a letter to the Univ. of Iowa¬† accusing the school’s basketball program of allowing the meeting on Sept. 11 between basketball recruits Marcus Paige and Josh Oglesby and the actors. On Oct. 1, after an internal investigation, Iowa confirmed that such meetings took place.

Paige and Oglesby met Kutcher, a Univ. of Iowa supporter, and Moore on a football weekend in Iowa City. Paige later Tweeted a photo of himself and Kutcher while Oglesby subsequently told a reporter from a recruiting website about the visit. The Paige Twitter photo and published report of Oglesby’s comments is what set the NCAA’s investigation of impropriety in motion.

But why is meeting Kutcher and Moore an NCAA violation? (Neither are U of I graduates or have any formal ties to the school.)

The Register reports:

NCAA rules prohibit recruits from meeting with outside individuals considered to be representatives of the university’s athletic interests.

Kutcher and Moore were in Iowa City to see the football game and reportedly lend their presence to fundraising activities by the school.¬† From that, apparently the NCAA concluded that they were, “representatives of the university’s athletic interests.

Iowa officials are hoping that the NCAA rules the contact between the recruits and the couple “inadvertent” and that, at most, any penalty against the school’s hoops program will be light. The Register noted what the school could be facing:

Penalties for a secondary violation can range from no penalty at all if the NCAA is satisfied with the university’s response to fines ranging from $500-$5,000 to placing limitations on recruiting.

Iowa associate athletic director Fred Mims, in the school’s Oct. 1 response to the NCAA, is apparently hoping for the former: “The university believes that violations did occur. These violations were inadvertent and steps have been taken to ensure it will not recur.