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Did Tide froze staffer's contract?

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Alabama has penalized director of football operations Joe Pannunzio for his role in the Miami scandal while a member of the Hurricanes' staff, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the university didn't release the name. Alabama posted 31 secondary violations on its Web site Thursday involving a number of sports for the year ending June 30.

Alabama said the staffer received no raise or contract extension for one year, wasn't allowed to communicate with recruits for 90 days and had to attend an NCAA regional rules seminar.

Pannunzio isn't identified in the notice of allegations the NCAA brought against Miami. Alabama said its staffer ''provided impermissible benefits to a prospect and his family and introduced prospect to a booster while at another institution.''

That booster was Nevin Shapiro, the central figure in the Miami scandal.

Pannunzio was one of the former Miami assistant coaches accused of having ties with Shapiro, the former booster and convicted felon who's now serving a 20-year term in federal prison for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

Pannunzio, however, was not among the former Hurricane coaches accused of wrongdoing by the NCAA, which investigated Miami for about two years before presenting the Hurricanes with their charges — the notice of allegations — on Feb. 19.

The document prepared by Alabama's compliance office said the staffer it didn't identify might have been in violation of six bylaws, all of which fell under Article 13, or recruiting.

Miami appeared before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in June, and current football coach Al Golden said earlier this week that the Hurricanes expect ''closure'' to the saga soon. A decision by the committee on infractions about further sanctions, if any, against the Hurricanes could come within the next few weeks, and the school is hopeful to hear sometime in August.

At Miami, Pannunzio was a tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.

Alabama also reported six other violations against the football program, which has won the past two national championships. In one case, members of the coaching staff were cited for going over the allowed number of off-campus contacts with a prospect. The involved coaches were barred from recruiting off-campus for the first week of the spring evaluation period, received letters of admonishment and rules education.

Tagged: Alabama

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