A list of the worst scandals in college sports
Years of child sex abuse at Penn State by longtime assistant Jerry Sandusky may represent the worst scandal in the history of college sports. The NCAA is set to announce its sanctions on Monday. While it's hard to compare Sandusky's crimes, and the institutional problems described in the Louis Freeh report released on July 12, to other cases involving unacceptable benefits or point-shaving, this is a list of some of the scandals that drew massive attention prior to Penn State.
— POINT SHAVING AT CCNY, 1947-51. The City College of New York men's basketball team won both the National Invitation Tournament and the national championship in 1950. Then a point-shaving scandal that spanned 86 games dating to 1947 was discovered. Thirty-two players from seven schools were arrested. CCNY turned from powerhouse to trivia answer. Players from Kentucky were also involved, but the Wildcats program survived to remain a powerhouse.
— THE BC THREE, BOSTON COLLEGE, 1978-79. BC basketball players Rick Kuhn, Joe Streater and Jim Sweeney were persuaded to fix nine Eagles games during the season. Kuhn and two money men were handed 10 years each in prison.
— SMU GETS THE DEATH PENALTY, 1986. Southern Methodist boosters funneled thousands of dollars to football players through a slush fund that was administered by school officials, including former Texas governor Bill Clements. The NCAA gave the program the "death penalty" — forcing it to the sidelines for the entire 1987 season — and the Mustangs have never regained their national stature.
— HOT ROD, TULANE, 1980s. Star forward John "Hot Rod" Williams was accused of accepting more than $8,000 to shave points in several games. He was later acquitted, but the school dropped the team until 1989.
— THE FAB FIVE and ED MARTIN, MICHIGAN, EARLY 1990s. Several players, including star forward Chris Webber, were paid by a booster and factory worker, Martin, from his gambling operations. All records, including two Final Fours, featuring the so-called Fab Five recruiting class, were vacated, Michigan was put on two years of NCAA probation and head coach Steve Fisher lost his job.
— ACADEMIC FRAUD, MINNESOTA, 1990s. Clem Haskins' tenure with the Golden Gophers was brought down by a widespread academic fraud. Former manager Jan Gangelhoff claimed she had written papers for at least 20 players. Minnesota's records were vacated and the program was docked five scholarships. Haskins, the AD and several other officials lost their jobs.
— GEORGIA ACADEMIC SCANDAL, 2002. Georgia head coach Jim Harrick and his son, Jim Jr., provided high grades to players in classes they never or seldom attended and paid players' expenses. The elder Harrick, who led the Bulldogs to NCAA tournament appearances in 2001 and 2002, resigned and his son was fired.
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