Secondary violations of NCAA rules happen all the time, with schools often turning themselves in for minor mistakes made. And yep, even Harvard makes mistakes.
It took two years, but Harvard did acknowledge yesterday that it committed a secondary violation by receiving improper recruiting assistance from Kenny Blakeney, who would soon be hired as an assistant coach. Harvard will self-impose recruiting limits for the coming year because of the violation.
The reason Harvard revealed the discovery was that in September 2008, the Ivy League had announced that no recruiting violations were committed in wake of a New York Times report regarding Blakeney's activities.
But subsequent conversations between the school and the NCAA confirmed that while Blakeney was not employed by Harvard at a time when he independently made contact with recruits, he should not have been at the same time in contact with the Harvard coaching staff.
It's a gray area to be sure, which is why it took two years for everyone involved to even figure out a violation even occurred. But in the end, shouldn't Harvard have been smart enough to realize where the lines are blurred and been more cautious even when other schools might not be?
That would qualify as a double standard, of course. Then again, it was Harvard coach Tommy Amaker who said shortly after the New York Times article was published that the school "adheres to austere standards."
It simply doesn't appear that happened in this case.