NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma plans to appeal the NCAA's decision to force the school to "vacate” — or erase — eight wins from the record book as a result of major rules violations.
The penalty was among several announced Wednesday by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in the case of former football players Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn, who were dismissed from the program last August after an investigation determined they had been paid for work they did not perform at Big Red Sports and Imports.
The NCAA also found OU guilty of "failure to monitor” the players' employment at the Norman car dealership. The school plans to appeal that finding, as well.
In its report, the NCAA called the violations "significant and serious” because of the amount of money involved, the duration of the violations and OU's appearance a year earlier for major violations in the men's basketball program.
OU officials declined interview requests Wednesday. In a statement, OU President David Boren said he was glad the NCAA's ruling "does not limit the ability of our football team to succeed in the upcoming or future seasons,” but added the school would appeal "as a matter of principle.”
The appeal could add six months to a process that began more than a year ago with an anonymous e-mail.
But OU did not appeal other sanctions.
In addition to public reprimand and censure, OU's current probation was extended by two years through May 2010.
OU will lose two football scholarships during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons — extending a penalty already self-imposed by the university. OU is subject to "re- peat violator” status if more major violations are found in the next five years. Such a finding could trigger accelerated penalties including the "death penalty” for an offending sport — although the NCAA has been hesitant to levy that punishment.
Bomar and Quinn were dismissed from the program in August. OU's subsequent report to the NCAA, obtained by The Oklahoman
through open-records requests, revealed that during the 2005 football season, the players had sometimes been clocked in for work while participating in practices and other team activities.
After an investigation — with much of the legwork done by OU officials — the NCAA determined Bomar, Quinn and former walk-on receiver Jermaine Hardison had been overpaid more than $17,000.
Bomar and Quinn transferred to Sam Houston State and Montana, respectively; after they agreed to make restitution, their eligibility was reinstated for the 2007 season.
Former Big Red general manager Brad McRae and Bomar did not return phone calls Wednesday. Bomar's father, Jerry Bomar, declined comment. Quinn told The Associated Press the ruling was "dumb.”
"I have no idea,” Quinn said. "I don't care.”
OU's self-imposed penalties included:
•A reduction of two scholarships — Bomar's and Quinn's scholarships were left vacant — for 2006-07 and 2007-08.
•Limiting by one the number of football coaches allowed to recruit this fall.