Oklahoma to send NCAA report on violations
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A report on what the University of Oklahoma has said were NCAA violations committed by two since-dismissed football players will be sent to the NCAA when it is complete, OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said Thursday.
Castiglione, speaking at a press conference in Norman, declined to delve into specifics regarding the case of starting quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn, who were kicked off the Sooners' squad Wednesday. But Castiglione and football coach Bob Stoops praised the university's compliance staff for its diligence in uncovering the violations and said they expected the NCAA to look into the situation as well.
"I think always there's follow-up, but I feel our compliance staff has done that and continues to do it and never stops doing that," Stoops said. "I believe that this (the two dismissals) will be it, but everything is ongoing."
NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson declined to specifically address the Oklahoma situation, which he said is standard procedure in such cases.
But in general terms, he said anytime an NCAA member uncovers a violation, the violation must be reported to the NCAA. After that is done, NCAA staff decides whether or not to investigate further and issue a notice of findings.
If the NCAA staff investigates and finds that violations have occurred, the case would go to the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, which would determine if the violations merited any harsher penalty than any already self-imposed by the school.
Castiglione said "we feel like we're taking the appropriate action" and that "to the extent that we can address everything within our control, we're doing it ethically, decisively and as expeditiously as possible."
Oklahoma already is on NCAA probation until May 2008 for violations found to have occurred within its men's basketball program, but the university escaped major sanctions in that case. Christianson said the NCAA has a "repeat violator" bylaw.
The university has said Bomar and Quinn received extra compensation above that to which they were entitled related to their employment at a private business, a Norman car dealership that has changed ownership since the players worked there.
The university said the players accepted payment over an extended period of time in excess of time actually worked. Oklahoma declared them ineligible for the entire current season and permanently dismissed the two from the team.
Castiglione said the question about Oklahoma, which finished 8-4 last season, possibly forfeiting those wins has been raised, but that he's "not sure that is applicable at this point."
In a similar situation, Texas A&M was placed on five years' probation in January 1994 because nine players accepted pay for no work, a penalty that kept a team with a 10-0-1 record that year out of the Cotton Bowl, the game in which the champion of the now-defunct Southwest Conference used to play.
Texas A&M also dismissed two of the players and declared the others ineligible, suspended them, or both.
With about a month before the season starts in earnest, the eligibility status of Bomar and Quinn -- who both were to be sophomores this season -- remains in limbo.
Christianson said that if a player is declared ineligible at an NCAA school, "that ineligibility follows them wherever they would transfer, regardless of the (NCAA) classification" of the school to which they transfer. For a player who is ineligible to regain eligibility, the school to which he transfers would have to seek reinstatement for the player, Christianson said. That process usually takes months.
A transfer to an NAIA school might be an option. But Israel Negron, the director of legislative services for the Olathe, Kan.-based organization of mostly small schools, said "there would be a whole series of questions we'd have to get answers to," including what penalties already have been imposed on the players, before any determination of their eligibility to play for an NAIA school could be made.
"We don't want to be the place you go when you have no other choice," Negron said. "That's not what we're here for."
Because they're both sophomores, Bomar and Quinn could conceivably spend a year at a junior college, most of which compete under the auspices of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based National Junior College Athletic Association. But they'd only be able to play one year of juco football before having to transfer to a four-year school.
It's unlikely, although not impossible, that the players would be able to play this season.
Stoops said he'd help Bomar and Quinn look for other football homes.
"I'm all for kids and feel in a way compassion for them," Stoops said. "I know they've stung us in a big way, but still it's just my nature to be that way. I think all coaches are that way. I would grant them a release and give them an opportunity if they wanted to go somewhere else."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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