Two violations linked to former staff member

A recent open records request of primary and secondary violations self-reported to the NCAA and Southeastern Conference by Kentucky athletics may shed more light on the pre-season resignation of David Armstrong, the former director of football administration under coach Joker Phillips.

Armstrong, who resigned abruptly in late August for “other opportunities,” according to a UK spokesman, was part of two secondary violations during his less than two-year tenure.

The most recent one occurred on May 27, when Armstrong and then-defensive line coach David Turner (who is now at Mississippi State) visited five prospects off campus during the recruiting quiet period.

According to the secondary violation report dated Nov. 27, Armstrong and Turner visited five prospects at the University Inn hotel before the start of a one-day camp.

“University Inn Hotel is a commercial entity adjacent to campus,” the report said. “Mr. Armstrong and Coach Turner both believed that the University Inn Hotel was an on-campus facility.”

All of the 2013 prospects were from Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Fla., according to the report, which also notes that Armstrong took at least one of the prospects on a tour of campus facilities.

The initial violation was discovered when the prospects told camp staff that they had given some of their necessary paperwork to Armstrong the night before.

As a penalty, both Armstrong and Turner were issued letters of admonishment and UK counted that contact as one of its permissible contacts for those prospects.

At least one of the prospects (the names were redacted in the report) was declared ineligible for competition at UK.

  • The first violation involving Armstrong was on Dec. 7, 2011 when he used the ribbon boards at Commonwealth Stadium as a part of a presentation during a recruit’s visit. Armstrong previously had been told by UK compliance staff that only the scoreboard was allowed to be used, per NCAA rules. In that case, he was issued a letter of admonishment as well.

According to the UK salary database, Armstrong started his position at UK on April 15, 2011, and he was making $60,000 a year. His primary duties included assisting UK’s recruiting coordinator.

A native of Brentwood, Tenn., Armstrong was a four-year letter winner at quarterback for Western Kentucky.

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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