USC. Ohio State. Auburn. North Carolina. That's right folks, college athletic programs are cheating their ass' off recently (and winning championships for it, going "all in"*) There are those cases that we all remember, the good ones that stick around for a while. From OU running coke and guns under Switzer, SMU paying Craig James and Erik Dickerson more than CEO's, all the way to Reggie Bush making more money before he was drafted to the NFL. And those are just on the football side. When you look at the total package Kentucky is way up the list (being one of 5 teams to receive the dreaded death penalty). Now, when trying to quantify the dirtiest programs of all time, the selection criteria is important. I chose to base it purely on the number of major infractions a school had, not on severity of infractions, that way Baylor wouldn't be number one ( I call this the Dave Bliss- Carlton Dotson rule, even though Dotson actually killed a man and Bliss tried to cover it up. Best part? Baylor, a Baptist school, or so they claim, hired an even dirtier coach to replace Bliss in Scott Drew. I swear, they are gunning for the fucking death penalty. Oh, and for Bliss, he's still cheating his balls right off.). Severity of the infractions enters the conversation when there is a tie in the number of infractions. Y'all ready for this? This is part 1 (of 5) and I'll try and drop one a week on regular intervals. I was going to do one post of all 25, but then around 6 or 7 I crossed the 4000 word mark (I started at 25) and decided since the summer is boring to break this up a bit.
*Yes, I am an Auburn fan as well, but it's still funny.
25. University of West Virginia- 5 Major Infractions
West Virgina has managed to receive 5 infractions, and that is a feat, considering how soft most of these are. Very basic, very unoriginal offenses, most of which involve impermissible contact with recruits. 3 of the 5 didn't even involve probation, and the 4th was only for one year. But the 5th, and most recent infraction, involves mens tennis, and they swung for the fences with this one. In 1994 the tennis coach was found to have provided $25,000 in tuition, extra benefits, and lodging for players. As a result, the tennis team was suspended for 4 months in 94, lost 4 scholarships over 3 years, lost the ability to travel for recruiting, and could not have recruits make official visits. That's a good warm up, but as you will see later, $25k wont even get you in the door in the SEC, Big 12, or Pac-10.
24. University of Washington- 5 Major Infractions
The majority of the infractions at U-Dub occurred in the 1950's and 60's, but they made up for that 30 year absence in 1992, when the hammer was dropped, shortly after Washington won a share of the national championship. Accusations range from the starting quarterback receiving $50,000 worth of unsecured loans, players selling prescription pills, and even a gun charge and two rape charges for good measure. There were even some players who purchased weapons for protection because "they didn't feel safe in the locker room". Shit, that's bad when you have to pack heat to get a shower after practice. The Huskies received a two year television and postseason ban, as well as a reduction in scholarships and reduced access to the program from boosters. More fun after the jump.
23. Michigan State University- 5 Major Infractions
Most of the time the Spartans are the second team in Michigan, but stand head and shoulders above the Wolverines when it comes to shady dealings. Sparty had a few sissy infractions (though still major, just in comparison not worth mentioning) in 50's and 60's, then decided to start getting serious in 1976. Due to imaginative recruiting violations ($100 handshakes, hookers, and steaks. Damn, I'd want to play for them also) and unethical conduct, MSU got slapped with lack of institutional control and lost 10 scholarships, with a show cause penalty (but not your usual one, MSU had to show cause why they shouldn't lose more than 10 scholly's. The didn't and lost 5 more. "Cold Blooded"). This was just a warm up to 1996, when they were bitch slapped for violations that occurred three years earlier under then coach George Perles. Perles was accused of providing cash, employment at a higher than average wage, meals, tickets, travel for family members, and last but not least, academic tampering (yup, sent an assistant to change grades). In the end Perles was fired during the 94 season, and MSU lost all 5 wins from that year. They also lost scholarships, recruiting time, and television revenue. Now we're starting to get somewhere, no guns, but we do have hookers.
22. University of Southern California- 5 Major Infractions
What does that tell you about the teams on this list, when USC barely cracks the top 25? Everyone knows about the Reggie Bush scandal, but lets look at some of the others. In 2001 tutors were caught writing papers for football players. In 1986 they gave players too many free tickets, and held off season organized practices. In 1982 they sold tickets to boosters above face value and funneled the extra cash to players. If you don't believe me, or think h8rs be h8'n, former USC player Lonnie White has admitted to it. See a pattern here? But we're not done yet. In 1959 they gave players airfare beyond what the NCAA permits, which is to say the flew them all across the country. And finally in 1957 they had a good old fashioned pay for play scheme in place. It amazes me that more people don't hate USC. That's good, but it's baby shit compared to what's coming.
21. University of Cincinnati- 5 Major Infractions
The Bearcats have to have the lowest cheat to success ratio amongst the rest of the top 25 (forget that, that honor belongs to Texas A&M, who cheat their sheep balls right off but get almost no reward for it. Like almost everything the Ag's do, it makes no sense, but that doesn't stop them). Of the five infractions, all five had recruiting violations, 2 had show cause penalties, bowl bans, and vacation of wins, and 3 involved both the football and basketball team (2 of which were hit with the dreaded lack of institutional control). The worst case occrured in 1998, when Cincy was hammered with loss of 3 scholarships, loss of 30 days the next year for coach recruiting, the firing of two managers, and an audit the next year. Lots of procedural bullshit, no murder. Try harder Cincy, I expect better.
Damn, I love it. I'm a fan of good old fashioned cheating, but I'm an even bigger fan of new inventive cheating (but not by you Gundy, keep it clean, you 43 year old man you). Now we're just warming up this week, it's going to get fun soon. And if you're a fan of a school on this list, I'm sorry, but hey, can't deny it, so might as well enjoy it. Or hate me, either way is cool.
Go Pokes (who are not on this list, bitches)