Oklahoma files appeal to reclaim wins taken by NCAA
TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahoma has filed its official appeal requesting the NCAA overturn an infractions committee ruling that would strip the Sooners of eight wins because of rules violations involving former starting quarterback Rhett Bomar.
"We just got acknowledgment that it's been received and in process," university President David Boren said Wednesday following a board of regents meeting.
The university notified the NCAA in July that it intended to appeal the ruling that would take away the Sooners' wins from an 8-4 season in 2005 that concluded with a victory against Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. Oklahoma is also appealing a "failure to monitor" violation based on findings that the school failed to track athletes' employment at a Norman car dealership.
University officials said details of the appeal would be released in the next several days.
Oklahoma has said it would accept penalties including two additional years of probation and reductions in scholarships and recruiting time, but the university believes it's excessive to take away the wins.
"I think it's unfair because you're punishing the people that are totally innocent, that did their jobs right and that worked hard," Boren said. "How can another player help it if one individual or two individuals on a team do something wrong?
"It's group punishment when it really I think needs to be kept at individual punishment."
Boren said he thinks the NCAA gave Oklahoma some credit for taking corrective action quickly and for self-reporting the violations, which occurred when Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn took pay for work they did not perform at Big Red Sports and Imports in Norman.
Bomar and Quinn were kicked off the team in August 2005, with Bomar transferring to Sam Houston State and Quinn to Montana. The NCAA ordered Bomar to pay back more than $7,400 in extra benefits to a charity, and Quinn to make donations totaling more than $8,100.
Boren said other schools have claimed they could not get private donors or companies to disclose their personal financial information but "we dug that up our ourselves."
"They did not bar us from conference championship and [postseason] competition. They made very small adjustments in our scholarships, which really don't take us below our historic levels," Boren said. "I thought the one thing we had an obligation to particularly appeal was having players and coaches who played by the rules [and] worked their hearts out punished by having their wins taken off the record book.
"I think that's something we had an obligation to appeal, and something I hope that the NCAA will take a second look at."
The infractions committee now has 30 days to respond to Oklahoma's appeal, and the university would then have its own opportunity for a response. Oklahoma has requested the appeal be handled in writing instead of through a hearing before the NCAA infractions appeals committee.
Boren said he expected it would be "a couple of months" before the situation is resolved.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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