With recruiting and pay-for-play scandals such the ones at Ole Miss squarely in the college football spotlight, it’s not shocking to hear that cheating may not be limited to just one or two schools. Could Oklahoma and Texas be among the guilty?
CBS Sports writers Dennis Dodd, Chip Patterson and Barrett Sallee anonymously polled one-fifth of the FBS’ 130 head coaches, asking them how many programs they believe knowingly commit major NCAA violations.
While most coaches (57 percent) answered 0-to-13 teams, 17 percent said 14-26 teams, 22 percent said 27-39 teams, and 4 percent said 30 or more.
Granted anonymity, the coaches were asked to explain their answers, which is where things get really interesting.
While most of the answers focused on the SEC (one coach said 80 percent of the league knowingly cheats), Oklahoma and Texas were mentioned in one of the most specific and damning answers.
“Players are smart. When the game is over, they walk through the parking lot,” one coach said. “When the tailgate is over, they may have $400-$500 before they get out of there. Players are smart. They may have scored a big touchdown or won a big game. There ain’t no question they’re getting something on the way.
“[A booster] is going to go downtown and say, ‘I just gave so and so $50 for dinner.’ … I guarantee [that sort of thing] is going to happen at Ole Miss and Alabama and Mississippi State and Tennessee and Texas probably and Oklahoma — for sure.”
The Longhorns have evaded recent NCAA scrutiny, recording no major violations since being placed on two years’ probation in 1987.
The Sooners, on the other hand, haven’t been so lucky. Oklahoma was forced to vacate its entire 2005 season after it was discovered that quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn accepted payment from a Norman car dealership for work they did not do. Both players were dismissed from the program and the NCAA eventually reversed its decision, allow the Sooners to keep their 2005 record.
OU, however, was placed on probation until 2010 and saw a reduction in scholarships for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
More recently, Oklahoma self-reported a number of minor NCAA violations — which included three players being provided pasta “in excess of the permissible amount allowed.” The three players were required to donate $3.83 to a charity of their choice in order to be reinstated.