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NCAA wants OU inquiry over by Nov. 1

By George Schroeder Published: October 14, 2006
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NORMAN - The NCAA’s investigation into overpayments to University of Oklahoma football players employed at a Norman car dealership might be on its way to a relatively quick resolution. At least, that’s the goal of the NCAA’s enforcement staff, as outlined in the official notice of inquiry, which was sent last month to OU President David Boren.

Dated Sept. 20, 2006, the letter from NCAA director of enforcement Julie Roe said the investigation could be completed by Nov. 1, though it could be expanded if new information came to light.

But the notice of inquiry, and subsequent correspondence between NCAA enforcement staff members and OU’s compliance department, appear to indicate the investigation has not yet turned up any rule violations beyond those involving Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn.

The documents were obtained Friday by The Oklahoman after an open records request. Included were e-mails between OU’s compliance staff and NCAA investigators and assorted documents recently sent to the NCAA by the school, including players’ earnings records and activity schedules for the football team during the 2005-06 school year.

Names of athletes were redacted by OU officials, who cited federal privacy legislation. But Bomar and Quinn were declared ineligible and dismissed from the team Aug. 2 after an internal investigation revealed they had been paid for hours they did not work at Big Red Sports and Imports.

OU officials declined comment Friday, citing the ongoing investigation. But a source said NCAA investigators have conducted interviews with several people.

Brad McRae, the former general manager of Big Red Sports and Imports, said he had not spoken with NCAA investigators and did not plan to.

Bomar could not be reached for comment. But Jerry Bomar, the quarterback’s father, previously told The Oklahoman the amount of overpayment to his son was between $5,000 and $7,000.

In OU’s report Aug. 21 to the NCAA, which numbered more than 500 pages including attachments, the school determined Bomar and Quinn were the only players overpaid by Big Red, and determined coaches and other school officials didn’t know of the rules violations. The players were caught in large part because they were clocked in during team activities, including practices.

Included in the report submitted last August were interviews conducted by OU’s compliance department with Bomar, Quinn and another football player, as well as coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and director of football operations Merv Johnson.

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