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The Top 25 Dirtiest Athletic Programs In College History Episode 5: The NCAA Strikes Back

Hit my music. That’s right boys and girls here it is, the greatest cheaters of all time (well almost, thanks LSDBI). The Rick Flairs of cheating, the Metallica’s of major infractions, the Trojan Magnum’s of selling your soul to win, and some high quality rule breaking. After 5 weeks we have almost reached the end (be sure to check out parts I, II, III, and IV), and without further adu, let’s hit it. (Sorry guys, this was supposed to wrap this series up, but the NCAA's website is currently down, so I was unable to finish. But you know what? You just get one more week of cheaters. I'll try to have the final post up Monday, but no promises. Either way, you've got 2,700 more words of cheating to enjoy.)

5: University of Oklahoma- 7 Major Infractions

Before all my Sooner friends (do I have any Sooner friends?) get all worried, I’m just sticking to the NCAA reports, no rumors (but man, there are some amazing rumors about Switzer. If half of it is true he could have an entire wing at the NCAA’s enforcement HQ working on him). OU loves it some football, evident by the fact that 6 of it’s 7 infractions involve football. Remember how I said Texas A&M defined futility in cheating? (7 infractions, 1 national championship) Well, OU defines cheating prowess (7 infractions, 7 national championships). Now, let us begin at the beginning, (????? yeah, after 20,000 words I’m tired of trying to be funny) 1956. Sandwiched between two national championships is a NCAA case that resulted in two years of probation. From the NCAA report it appears that playing at OU had benefits such as; long term financial aid, medical care for you families, rental cars, clothes, and everyone’s favorite improper aid, cash. Moving along to 1960 we have another football case, this one a bit more serious. It only took OU two tries at the NCAA to get smacked with lack of institutional control. There was an outside recruiting fund, which was used to give recruits money and other aid in return for signing a letter of intent. That’s not good, but what got them bitch slapped was the fact they had been trying to cover this fund up since 1952. The NCAA essentially offered clemency to any school who would self report starting in 1953 (when the NCAA's testicles dropped). OU decided to test the newly founded enforcement side of the organization, and see what they would do (turned out to be a bad idea). The resulting sanctions were a year of TV and postseason ban, and indefinite probation (which wound up being a year). Now then on to 1973, which was a bad year for OU sports (particularly the football and men’s basketball team) having NCAA trouble. The two sports combined for 14 (count that shit, 14) violations in one deft swoop. They were holding press conferences' for recruits, giving away cars, clothes, cash, and coke (maybe not, but probably.). Oh, and there was that little falsifying academic records thing. As many of you may have long suspected, if you’re a 5 star recruit OU will figure out how to get you. A 0.69 GPA cannot stand in the way of greatness. In this instance the university enrolled the players in summer school (to see if they could qualify. Guess what? They did) and then lied about their grades. But who would have questioned taking 32 hours in summer back then? The end result was two coaches couldn’t recruit for a couple years, a two year TV and postseason ban on the football team, and two years probation. In 1980 there was a minor (but still major) event involving football and men’s track. Just a public reprimand, barely worth mentioning. But it does segue way us into 1988, and another football scandal. In what would turn out to be a common thing in Norman, a player was paid $6,000 for summer employment, except he didn’t actually do any work. That outside recruiting fund was back also. These on top of the standards of giving cash, clothes, and blow. All this cost OU 18 scholarships over two years, a one year TV ban, a two year postseason ban, and 3 years of probation. Also 3 coaches and a booster were give show cause penalties. The Sooner’s managed to stay clean until 2006, when everyone’s favorite phone call making basketball coach got busted. Yes friends, turns out the NCAA does indeed track phone calls, and notices when you go over your limit by 577. Also the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams did something, but the NCAA report doesn’t mention much. OU got another two years of probation, lost some scholarships, and eventually a show cause penalty for Kelvin Sampson and another assistant coach. I believe everyone is familiar with how that played out. Finally, we move on the the Rhett Bomar scandal in 2007 that cost the Sooners some scholarships, some wins, and added two more years of probation (that just ended in 2010, wonder how long they will stay probation free?) For those who don't know, Bomar and JD Quinn (both assholes) had "jobs" at Big Red Sports and Imports in Norman, which they never actually worked at. Both players were paid for work that occurred during practice. Now, to Bob Stoops credit he kicked both players off the team immediately, but that didn't stop the NCAA from busting some Sooner balls. I'll never cry over OU pain, but really this was two assholes causing trouble all on their own. Onwards to number 4.

4: Florida State University- 7 Major Infractions

The Seminoles are an odd case. On the one hand they have 7 major infractions, on the other hand they only have a total of 10 years of probation (and 4 of those came from one incident). The reason I have them ranked so highly is that one scandal resulted in the greatest amount of victories vacated at one time, ever. It was also the greatest academic fraud scandal ever. So, I’m going to fly over their first 6 violations (they’re boring anyway) and hit their 7th hard. In 1968 the basketball team held some out of season practices and gave a bit too much financial aid, resulting in a one year TV ban and one year of probation. In 1970 the basketball team was again in trouble for flying 3 recruits in and providing "lavish entertainment". I’ll let you decide what that means. This, coupled with the infractions 2 years earlier earned FSU a two year postseason ban, two more years of probation, and a show cause penalty for the head coach. In 1974 the football team got popped for out of season practices, and were give one year of probation. In 1983 the basketball team was once again in trouble for recruiting entertainment, and were give another year of probation. In 1984 the football team was give a public reprimand for improper recruiting inducements. In 1996 the football team was hit with failure to monitor, as the NCAA suspected that sports agents had contact with football players. FSU got away pretty easy though, only one year of probation. Now then, on to the biggie in 2009. Starting in 2007 61 athletes in 10 sports (holy shit) received illegal academic support. In other words, they cheated. What was happening was that three athletics academic support staff were providing answers to quizzes and test from three different classes to student athletes. They were also committing academic fraud, as they would have athletes enter the answers for other athletes. The biggest amount of cheating and fraud came in the class "Music Cultures of the World" 2015, an online music class. The AASS workers had created a binder which contained all the questions and answers from any version of the test the computer could spit out. Essentially they had created an answer bank, which was distributed to all the athletes enrolled in the class. Finally, one of the AASS workers would type reports for the athletes (referred to by the NCAA as "improper typing assistance". Only a dickhead lawyer could call cheating that. That, friends, is why the NCAA sucks a big one.) and then the athletes would turn those in as their own work. They were caught when the worked hit crtl a, followed by crtl c, followed by ctrl v, changed the name, then hit ctrl p. Yes, she couldn’t even cheat properly, and gave the exact same paper to two different athletes in the same class. Now, the girl had her reasons, she claimed the athletes had a learning disability, (is stupidity a disability now?) but the problem was any disability has to be registered at the Student Disability Support Center. At this point FSU was boned, but the question on everyones mind was, how boned? Well, so boned that they were no longer boned, they were fucked. First, FSU received four years of probation. Second, all sports involved had scholarship sanctions added (which depended on how many of each sports players cheated). Third, all three AASS workers received 5 year show clause penalties. And finally, all victories in which the ineligible athletes participated were vacated (which turned out to be almost 50 spread across the 10 sports, 14 from football alone). Does everyone remember Bobby Bowden begging to have those victories count? He was all shook that Joe Paterno would end up with more victories than him. Then FSU told him to eat shit, and ole Joe kept on keepin on, and it became irrelevant. Let's get to number 3.

3: University of Minnesota- 7 Major Infractions

Admit it, there is no way in hell anyone saw this coming. Yes indeed, the Golden Gophers have cheated their way all the way to number 3, way to get em’ boys. We start our journey off with any itty bitty recruiting transportation violation by the football team. In 1969 you’d have thought people would have learned not to fly recruits to the school. But they didn’t, only receiving a public reprimand. No biggie, unlike the basketball violations of 1976 (Minnesota did it up right though, being hit in both March and October of the same year, for different offenses). The NCAA found 35 FUCKING VIOLATIONS. Holy god, OU didn’t have that many violations total, across all their major infractions. If you were wondering why Minnesota was so high, you’ll see soon. Players were selling tickets at 10 times face value.  One player had an all expenses trip to Hawaii paid for by the school (oh, and he wasn’t even eligible to play). Families of players were given round trip airfare to attend home games (and while there given cash and clothes). Sixty four instances of players being given cash for general expenses. Several players had a charge account at a local restaurant and ran a tab into the $1500 range, and had the university pay it off. And they might have well changed their name to Hertz, the way they loaned cars to players and their families. The university was banned from TV and postseason play for two years, as well as placed on three years probation. Scholarships were reduced to 3 a year for 3 years, and show cause penalties for several booster and one assistant coach for 3 years. Now then, eight months later it was discovered that shortly after being placed on probation in March (by shortly I mean two damn weeks. Like the majestic honeybadger, the Golden Gophers don’t give a shit) the ‘Phers began holding practice for the next season. Also, they allowed four players with eligibility issues to participate. The NCAA fucking spanked them here, adding the triple triple (3 years extra probation, TV and postseason ban). So for 5 years Minnesota was unable to participate on TV or the postseason, shit (if you’re counting at home, we’re already up to six years of probation). Finally football got in the mix (though basketball was the main focus) in 1988. Once again, the basketball program was busted for providing cash, illegal transportation, and all that other jazz to recruits and players. The football team very weakly had a book keeping issue, and was issued a public reprimand. The basketball team was another year of postseason band and two more years of probation (8 so far). Finally, in 1991 the football team got their piece. Football, along with men’s basketball and wrestling, got in some shit. Football was busted for giving out $6,700 in cash to recruits, as well as cars, gas, and meals to current players. Wrestling didn’t properly administer financial aid (every player "had" kids, wife’s, and came from the deepest ghetto’s of LA) as well as getting a bit liberal with their academic records. Basketball was giving out loans as well as having pro scouts observe practice. The university was slapped with lack of institutional control, football and wrestling had scholarships reduced as well as financial aid, while basketball received some recruiting restrictions. Football was also banned from the postseason for one year, and the university received two more years of probation (up to 10). Moving along to 2000, the basketball team was the focus again, this time for major academic fraud involving 18 players. An athletic secretary was accused of typing papers for players, doing their homework, and forging their academic records. They were busted when it was discovered the head coach paid her $3,000 out of his pocket to keep her quite. On top of that she was taken to Hawaii at the expense of the basketball team. The result of all this was vacation of records for the years 1994-1998 (damn that’s a long ass time, including two NIT’s and an NCAA tournament), a reduction in financial aid (9 scholarships lost over 3 years), massive recruiting restrictions, 4 years of probation (14!) and a show cause penalty for the head coach for 7 years. I feel it would be funny to name the head coach, but I won’t (*coughClemHaskinscough*). This is freaking crazy, and we still have one more infraction to go. Wrapping up the Minnesota cheat fest is women’s basketball. Yes, women’s fucking basketball. I didn’t know the NCAA even looked at women’s sports, but apparently they do. The biggest thing that went on was housing recruits who were not enrolled yet for free, and having practice with them (practice, scissoring, whatever same shit). Also, the head coach gave the recruits fleece jackets valued at $15. The practice and housing was big, but the reason the NCAA dropped the hammer was the coach lied, and instructed the players to lie, to the NCAA. You don’t lie to the NCAA, the NCAA doesn’t like that. After the problems a few years earlier the university received another lack of institutional control ruling, the coach was fired (and give a four year show cause penalty), scholarships were reduced for three years, and two more years of probation were added (for a grand total of 16, I love it Gophers).

I want to stress here and now, this is all for fun. Is everything I've typed factual? Yes (although the NCAA doesn't report hookers, I had to dig that up on my own) it is, but there is no reason to get pissed over it. If your favorite school has found it's way onto this list all it means is your school is either creative or just doesn't care what the NCAA thinks (and the NCAA is a joke anyway). Let's embrace the cheating, love the cheating, and celebrate it. Have I been drinking? Yes. What does that have to do with anything? It explains away all bad grammar and spelling errors. Well then, after all that and no 1 or 2 I have to give you something else right? Well I have something else for you, a stat (yes just one). Since 1953 (the year the NCAA began issuing infractions) there have been 57 football national champions. Of those, 24 have been won by teams on this list (that's 42% kids). Cheating does pay, it just depends on if you're good at it or not. Anyway, I hope you, the loyal CRFF'er have enjoyed the list so far, and I promise I'll drop the top 2 on you early next week. As always,

Go Pokes