Friday, February 22, 2008

Oklahoma Football: More NCAA Gutlessness

The NCAA has rescinded the most severe, and indeed the most important penalty it imposed against the Oklahoma football program in July as a result of a booster setting up 'pay for no work' jobs for players. Amongst the penalties from the original report:

Vacation of all wins in which the two ineligible student-athletes competed during the 2005 football season. The individual records of these student-athletes shall be vacated as well. Further, the university's records regarding football as well as the record of the head coach will be reconfigured to reflect the vacated wins and so recorded in all publications in which football records for the 2005 season are reported, including, but not limited to, university media guides, recruiting material, and university and NCAA archives. Finally, any public reference to these vacated contests, including the bowl game, won during this time shall be removed from athletics department stationary, banners displayed in public areas and any other forum in which they may appear.
To make a long story short, the Appeals Committee held that this penalty was too severe, since it does not matter that the violations were severe and intentional given that Oklahoma immediately suspended the players and reported the violations. This is despite the fact that the INELIGIBLE athletes in question contributed to the wins which would have been vacated.

Congratulations to the NCAA. You have just issued an open invitation to systematic and inconsequential cheating by boosters.

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