Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have been a little too open with their relationships lately, and here's another one they should have kept under wraps. Or maybe skipped out on altogether. The NCAA is coming down on the University of Iowa for allowing the swinging celebrities to meet with two high school recruits for the Hawkeyes' basketball team.
Treating recruits to special gifts is a big no no under NCAA regulations, but this one is being treated as especially heinous because Kutcher -- a biochemical engineering student at the U of I when he was discovered by a talent scout -- has funnelled his Hollywood money into the program in the past.
Donors to an athletic program are not supposed to meet with recruits under NCAA rules. But is meeting the guy who has made playing a dumbass into an art form (see also Kelso in That '70s Show, Jesse in Dude, Where's My Car?) really as big a deal as, say, a house?
These kids had to actually sit and talk with him. And they didn't walk off with any cash for the experience.
Recruit Josh Oglesby told IlliniHQ.com all he got out of the deal was an afternoon of Kutcher talking. A lot: "He was cool. You know, some of those actors or actresses might just say, 'Hey, how you doing?' But he just sat there and talked your ears off."
So how does that compare to what he could have gotten?
- NFL star Reggie Bush got a rent-free home for his family when he was playing football at the University of Southern California, plus free clothes, a limo ride to the Heisman awards, and free hotel stays. No wonder he was forced to give back his Heisman.
- University of Georgia players Chris Daniels and Rashad Wright were on their way to a college diploma without even showing up for class until the university found out Coach Jim Harrick's son, a professor at the school, was giving them automatic As. When they did bother to attend class, Jim Harrick Jr. crafted a final exam with questions like "How many points is a 3-pointer worth?"
- Recruits to the University of Tennessee got free food out of Coach Bruce Pearl at a barbecue at his home -- where he told them flat out that he was violating NCAA rules by inviting them to his house. Pearl is gone, but the NCAA is still investigating allegations that the school's basketball program allowed recruits on official visits to stay longer than allowed.
- Louisiana State University gave defensive tackle Akiem Hicks summer housing for free when he was with the school's football team.
So what's a few minutes with a star? You can't live in it. You can't use it to get you a job. And you can't eat it.
Image via david_shankbone/Flickr