University of Minnesota athletics officially off probation

Updated: December 19, 2006, 9:29 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota athletic department is officially off probation.

The department -- which faced wide-ranging penalties as punishment for the academic cheating scandal in the men's basketball program under then-coach Clem Haskins -- was informed in a letter from the NCAA dated Dec. 11 that the probation period was over, director of compliance Frank Kara confirmed Tuesday.

"Leave it behind us, move on, and hopefully keep doing things the right way," Kara said.

The original punishment had been extended by two years for rules violations committed in the women's basketball program under then-coach Cheryl Littlejohn.

The biggest setbacks for the Gophers included limited scholarships and the removal of all acknowledgments of and references to games played by the team between 1993 and 1998, including an appearance in the Final Four in 1997.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press