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Cavinder twins at center of first NIL ruling, NCAA punishes Miami women’s basketball

Cavinder Twins
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Cavinder Twins (Instagram)

The NCAA cracked down on its first name, image and likeness violation on Friday.

Sports Illustrated reported that the NCAA is punishing the Miami women’s basketball program for its recruitment of Haley and Hanna Cavinder. While they were still in the Transfer Portal, the Cavinder Twins reportedly reached an agreement involving Miami booster John Ruiz that was facilitated by head coach Katie Meier.

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According to the report, Ruiz violated rules by contacting the Cavinder Twins and provided them an “impermissible meal.” That night, Ruiz tweeted out a photo that drew the NCAA’s attention.

“The head coach met the booster at a university event for administrators, staff, donors and potential donors. Although the head coach did not personally know the booster, she was aware that he was a prominent businessman and involved in name, image and likeness activities with student-athletes at the school,” the NCAA said in a statement. “At the event, the booster and his family approached the coach to talk about the prospects’ upcoming visit to the university. The head coach later called the booster to learn more about him and his work, unaware that the booster had already been in touch with the prospects’ agent, until the booster informed the coach that the prospects’ agent had initially declined a meeting during their upcoming visit to campus.

“Regardless, the booster informed the head coach that he was ‘here to help’ and wanted women’s basketball to be ‘huge’ at Miami.”

According to the NCAA, the head coach’s involvement in arranging contact between the prospects and a booster violated NCAA recruiting rules.

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Meier already served a three-game suspension at the beginning of the 2022-23 college basketball season, but the Cavinder Twins were not punished by the NCAA. The Miami women’s basketball team was handed down a list of penalties, which was approved by the Committee on Infractions. The list includes:

  • One year probation.
  • A $5,000 fine plus 1% of the women’s basketball budget.
  • A 7% reduction in the number of official visits in women’s basketball during the 2022-23 academic year.
  • A reduction of nine recruiting-person days in women’s basketball during the 2022-23 academic year.
  • A three-week prohibition against recruiting communications by women’s basketball staff beginning with the open date of the Transfer Portal (from March 13 through April 2, 2023).
  • A 10% suspension (three games total) for the head coach, served during the first three contests for the 2022-23 season.