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Liberty’s Turner Gill, assistant suspended for rules violation

Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire

In his fifth season with Division I-FCS Liberty, Turner Gill and one of his assistant coaches will serve a one-game suspension as a result of an NCAA rules violation, the Lynchburg, Va.-based university announced Friday.

The former Buffalo and Kansas coach has been off the radar for a bit with Liberty, which plays in the Big South Conference at college football’s second-highest level, but emerged in the news on Friday after the school self-reported a violation committed by assistant Ron Brown.

Brown sent a scholarship offer in a text message to a recruit before the August 1 date when such offers can be proposed, and the assistant notified Gill of the mistake that led to this short suspension. Brown will serve his suspension Saturday against Monmouth, while Gill will serve his later this season. Despite Gill not committing the infraction in this case, the NCAA mandates a one-game ban for a head coach for what the NCAA deems a Secondary/Level III violation.

“I knew it was necessary to self-report this violation once it was brought to my attention. I take full responsibility for the consequences that go along with this violation and will make sure it does not happen again,” Gill said Friday. “Coach Brown texted an offer before August 1, not knowing that a text was considered the same as a written offer. After learning of this, he approached me with this information.”

Gill re-emerged after the Kansas ouster quickly, taking the Liberty job in December of 2011. The formerly successful Buffalo coach and unsuccessful Kansas leader is in his fifth year coaching the Flames, who faced both Virginia Tech and SMU this season before beginning conference play.

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