Report: Fleck contacted player before he received NCAA permission to leave the team

A team spokesman denied the allegation.

Gophers football head coach P.J. Fleck speaks during a press conference on Friday, Jan. 6 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Carter Jones, Daily File Photo

Gophers football head coach P.J. Fleck speaks during a press conference on Friday, Jan. 6 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Jack White

Kalamazoo, Michigan’s WWMT-TV reported Tuesday that Gophers football head coach P.J. Fleck may have engaged in a recruiting violation.

Robert Spillane, former Western Michigan linebacker, recently received a release from Western Michigan University, Fleck’s last stop as head coach.

WWMT-TV reported from an anonymous source that Fleck contacted Spillane about playing for Minnesota before Spillane had received full permission to transfer, which could be a violation of NCAA rules.

University spokesman Paul Rovnak told the Star Tribune that the school is “not recruiting any students from Western Michigan”

Spillane has yet to make a decision on where to transfer. Fleck coached the linebacker during his three collegiate seasons.

In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Spillane said he hasn’t decided where to transfer and that his decision to leave Western Michigan had “nothing to do with PJ Fleck.”

Spillane played in all 13 games last season for the Broncos and was the team’s leading tackler with 105. He had two sacks and three interceptions in 2016, including an interception against Ohio University that helped the team clinch their first MAC title and an undefeated season.

The NCAA requires permission to contact for students transferring schools, which must be granted before any formal recruiting can occur.