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
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.