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NCAA issues first NIL sanctions against Miami in Cavinder twins case

Haley and Hanna Cavinder have the highest NIL valuations in the NCAA Tournament. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Miami basketball was issued sanctions on Friday by the NCAA over rules violations in the recruitment of Haley and Hanna Cavinder. 

They were the first rulings delving into name, image and likeness. Hurricanes coach Katie Meier was suspended for three games, which she served at the beginning of the 2022-23 season. The Cavinder twins, meanwhile, were not sanctioned due to the NCAA’s stance that it does not intend to penalize athletes for NIL-adjacent infractions.

But Miami booster John Ruiz, who was the one to violate the rules by providing an impermissible meal to the Cavinders, did not face consequences. 

“Had it personally had impact on me or my company, I would have sued the NCAA and they would have a big battle,” Ruiz told SI. “This is a cop out for the NCAA to say they did something.”

According to the NCAA’s resolution, it was Meier that facilitated the meeting.

“The university, head coach and enforcement staff agreed that the head coach asked an assistant coach to contact the prospects and let them know that the booster was a legitimate businessperson, and the prospects agreed to meet with him,” the description of the incident read.

“Ultimately, the prospects and their parents had dinner at the booster’s home. During the visit, the parties did not discuss NIL opportunities, but the booster promoted the school by speaking about his children’s experiences as student-athletes at Miami, and his admiration for the school and the surrounding community.”

Reportedly, what drew the NCAA’s attention was a tweet from that night that confirmed the meeting. It violated several NCAA recruiting rules, including “impermissible contact” and recruiting “inducement.”

In addition to Meier’s suspension, the NCAA penalized the program with:

  • A one-year probation. If more rules are violated during this time, the program could face more severe sanctions.
  • A $5,000 fine plus one percent of the women’s basketball budget.
  • The number of official visits during the 2022–23 academic year decrease by seven percent.
  • Recruiting days in 2022–23 decrease by nine.
  • Staff members are not allowed to begin recruiting communications until three weeks after the transfer portal opens on March 13.