Oklahoma imposes punishments for four violations

Updated: June 12, 2005, 11:36 AM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- The NCAA has accepted Oklahoma's self-imposed punishments for four secondary rules violations, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Oklahoma agreed to issue letters of admonishment against those who broke rules and eliminated one week of allowable phone calls to recruits during the last recruiting season, according to correspondence between the school and the NCAA obtained by The Oklahoman for a story in Sunday's editions.

The NCAA accepted the self-imposed penalties, which had no impact on athletes' eligibility. Oklahoma said all of the violations were inadvertent.

Oklahoma reported the following violations:

-- Coaches violated a rule prohibiting coaches from contacting recruits "during the conduct of competition" by making calls via cell phone from Pro Player Stadium less than two hours before kickoff of the 2001 Orange Bowl.

In response, Oklahoma issued letters of admonishment to the coaches who violated the telephone rule, provided further education regarding the rule to the coaches and agreed to periodically review phone records and recruiting phone logs on dates of games. The school also eliminated a week of recruiting phone calls.

"There really wasn't much to it," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. "It was a secondary thing that probably had happened everywhere around the country, and they [the NCAA] agreed. It was an innocent mistake, and that happens."

-- A recruit was given impermissible media contact with media at the spring game in April 2003 when then-graduate assistant Josh Heupel introduced the recruit to ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler.

-- The school acknowledged it failed to pay for use of a charter plane used to transport a recruit for an official visit in 2000. Oklahoma told the NCAA it had taken steps to prevent similar mistakes.

-- A recruit returning home from an official visit to the school made "incidental contact" with two members of the board of regents when they were on the same flight. Oklahoma claimed the regents did not talk to the recruit, other than "to explain to the pilot in the presence of the prospect that according to NCAA rules they could not have any contact or conversation with the prospect."

Oklahoma reminded staff of the rule, and the NCAA granted the school's request for the athlete's eligibility be reinstated.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press