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UConn Coach Reported for Congratulating Little League Sensation Mo'ne Davis

University of Connecticut women's basketball head coach, Geno Auriemma, found himself in a bit of hot water recently for congratulating 13-year-old Mo'ne Davis on her mesmerizing run through the Little League World Series.

According to John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant, the Philadelphia 76ers reached out to Auriemma through a friend and suggested he call the young do-it-all pitcher to acknowledge her incredible success. However, an unidentified school didn't take kindly to the gesture, filing a complaint to the American Athletic Conference suggesting that the call constituted a recruiting violation.

"The conversation lasted like two minutes and we hung up," Auriemma told the paper. "And then I was told a school turned us in for a recruiting violation because we are not allowed [to contact her until] July 1 before her junior year of high school. ... That's the world that we live in."

Altivilla shared additional details on Twitter:

Though Davis captivated the sports world with her baseball talent, she made little secret of her true athletic passion during the LLWS run.

"I want to go to UConn and be the point guard on the basketball team," Davis told ESPN, per Altavilla. "That's like my dream and then go into the WNBA."

Given Davis' not-so-secret desire to attend UConn years down the line, the unidentified school's concern about Auriemma's contacting her is understandable. However, according to NCAA rules, a prospective student-athlete "is a student who has started classes for the 9th grade," which should keep the coach out of too much hot water. (A middle school student is considered a prospective student-athlete only if the institution provides he or she with "any financial assistance or other benefits that the institution does not provide to prospective students generally.")

"Under normal circumstances, I would probably not know anything about her until she was in 9th grade," Auriemma told the paper. "I have no idea if the kid is very good, kind of good, not good at all or a superstar or can even reach the basket. How is that a violation?"

It remains to be seen whether the American Athletic Conference will sanction Auriemma for reaching out to Davis. If the general reaction to this story is any indication, anything more than a minor slap on the wrist could generate a bevy of negative attention.

UPDATE (Sept. 5, 11:20 a.m. ET): The NCAA decided Thursday that Auriemma's contact with Davis constituted a secondary violation of rules, Altavilla reported. Athletic director Warde Manuel was less than thrilled with the decision.

"Over the last 24 hours, the University of Connecticut, the American Athletic Conference and the NCAA have been working together to determine whether a violation occurred when head women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma spoke with Mo'ne Davis over the phone during the 2014 Little League World Series," Manuel said in a statement. "The NCAA has determined a secondary rules violation of bylaw did occur and while UConn accepts this decision, we do not agree with it."

Auriemma checked with the UConn compliance department prior to making the call, Manuel said, "and was advised such a call would be permissible since Davis is not considered a prospective student-athlete by the NCAA and the call was to be congratulatory rather than recruiting in nature."

For more of the nuance as to why the NCAA did consider this a secondary violation, John Infante, former author of The Bylaw Blog, breaks it down for Sporting News.

Want all the latest K-12 sports news? Follow @SchooledinSport on Twitter.

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