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Ashton Kutcher's photo with recruit cleared by NCAA

By Alan Duke, CNN
  • University of Iowa will not be punished for actor's meeting with recruits
  • Kutcher's meeting with teens was "accidental," NCAA decides
  • Kutcher posed with a high school recruit at an University of Iowa game
  • The NCAA bans school boosters from meeting with athletic prospects

(CNN) -- When Ashton Kutcher posed for a photo with a high school student at a University of Iowa football game on September 11, it was "unintentional and accidental," not a violation of college athletic recruiting rules, the NCAA decided Monday.

The NCAA launched an investigation that could have penalized the sports teams at Kutcher's former college after the high school student posted a message on Twitter, along with a photo.

"What a better way to celebrate a birthday than to meet a cool guy like Ashton?" Marcus Paige tweeted soon after meeting Kutcher and his wife, actress Demi Moore.

"Go Hawks!" Kutcher said in his own tweet, sent the same day from Iowa's Kinnick Stadium during the Iowa-Iowa State game.

Kutcher, who studied at Iowa before dropping out to work as a model, was in a stadium skybox suite with his wife when two highly sought basketball prospects, including Paige, were brought there during halftime.

The NCAA bans boosters, such as Kutcher, from meeting with potential recruits because of the influence they could have on a student's choice of schools, school spokesman Steve Roe said.

"Casual greetings are allowed," Roe said. "That's what this was. It was not previously arranged."

The university responded to "Letters of Inquiry" from the NCAA concerning "activities involving its football program and its men's basketball program," University of Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta said.

The NCAA informed Iowa's athletics department Monday afternoon that it accepted the school's response.

"As part of that decision, the NCAA has fully cleared the recruits involved, and has determined the UI's actions to be of a 'secondary' nature in terms of violation of NCAA policy," the university said in a written statement Monday.

Kutcher, who is on a trip to Russia, did not immediately respond to CNN requests for comment.

HLN's Rafer Weigel contributed to this report.