Football employment scandal: OU sapped of 8 wins

By George Schroeder Modified: July 12, 2007 at 3:57 pm •  Published: July 12, 2007
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/> •Formal disassociation of McRae from the athletic department for at least five years.

•Prohibiting athletes from working at Big Red through at least the 2008-09 school year.

In a hearing before the Committee on Infractions April 14 in Indianapolis, OU officials contested only the charge of failure to monitor. They emerged hopeful the panel would not tack on significantly more punishment. Boren said he thought the committee had "a good understanding of the penalties that we've assessed on ourselves.”

Miami athletic director Paul Dee, the acting chairman of the Committee on Infractions, said Wednesday OU "should be commended” for its quick action, especially in dismissing the players, and said it "was very influential on the committee.”

But Dee said the committee determined the wins in 2005 should be vacated "because the two student-athletes participated for an entire season.”

OU went 8-4 in 2005, including a win in the Holiday Bowl over Oregon. The school can keep bowl revenue because the NCAA doesn't regulate bowl games. But the school's record — and Bob Stoops' coaching record – must be changed to 0-4. Individual accomplishments of Bomar and Quinn also must be erased.

Although the ruling is a step short of forfeiture — Dee said OU's opponents aren't able to retroactively claim victory — the penalty stung OU officials.

"We do not believe that erasing the 2005 season from the record books is fair to the over 100 student athletes and coaches who played by the rules and worked their hearts out for a successful season that year,” Boren said in the statement.

During the hearing, OU officials argued the school's compliance monitoring system "met, if not exceeded, industry standards” and could not have been expected to catch players determined to break the rules.

"It's very hard to devise any system that will catch deliberate violations,” Boren said after the hearing.

But the NCAA charged OU didn't follow its established procedures "when it did not timely collect gross earnings statements for 12” players who worked at Big Red during the summer of 2005, and noted OU didn't detect some football players were employed at the dealership at other times. The Committee on Infractions also found Big Red's status as "the apparent largest employer” of athletes necessitated closer monitoring by OU.

The infractions report stated "several mistakes in a narrow, but significant area… resulted in a breakdown of (OU's) monitoring. When such mistakes result in significant violations of NCAA legislation … a finding of failure to monitor is appropriate and justified.”

In a statement, OU head coach Stoops indicated support for Boren's position and said the Sooners were "focused on the upcoming season.”

"The university is dealing with a matter that relates to the 2005 season,” Stoops said. "This group of players and those that will join our program later have no reason to be concerned about our goals or the direction of our program. Those things remain un

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The penalties
•Public reprimand and censure.

•Adding two years to OU's current probation status through May 23, 2010. OU already was on probation through May 23, 2008, for violations in the men's basketball program.

•Reduction of two football scholarships through the 2009-2010 school year. OU had self-imposed the penalty through the 2007-08 school year after dismissing Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn from the program. OU is limited to 83 scholarships during the period.

•Vacation of all wins in the 2005 football season. OU finished 8-4 with a win in the Holiday Bowl. The school's official record will now reflect an 0-4 season. Coach Bob Stoops' coaching record will also reflect the 0-4 season, meaning his overall record is now 78-19 (rather than 86-19).

•Erasure of "any public reference” to the 2005 wins, including the Holiday Bowl, from OU publications, banners "and any other forum in which they may appear.”

•Vacation of individual records of Bomar and Quinn from 2005.

•Formal disassociation of former Big Red Sports and Imports general manager Brad McRae for at least five years. OU had already taken this step as part of its self-imposed penalties.

•OU must reduce the number of football coaches who can recruit off-campus by one during fall 2007. OU had already self-imposed this penalty.


The appeals process
OU plans to appeal two elements of the NCAA Committee on Infractions' finding — failure in monitoring and vacating the 2005 record. Here is a look at the appeals process, which could take as long as six months:

NCAA rules allow member institutions to appeal findings, penalties or both. The school's written notice of appeal must be received by the NCAA president within 15 calendar days from the date of the committee's report.

Once OU has been notified of the NCAA president's receipt of the notice, OU has 30 days to file the appeal. The Committee on Infractions then has 30 days to file its response, and OU has 14 days to respond. Then, the Infractions Appeals Committee considers the appeal.

Both penalties are stayed during the appeals process. The decision of the Infractions Appeals Committee is final.

Source: NCAA manual

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