NCAA to OU: Improve job education

Updated: July 17, 2009, 10:03 PM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- The NCAA has asked Oklahoma to enhance its compliance education program relating to the employment of athletes as part of the school's continuing probation following rules violations by former quarterback Rhett Bomar.

In a letter sent to the school last month, Committee on Infractions assistant director James A. Elworth asked Oklahoma to emphasize the proper use of forms provided to athletes, their employers and coaches.

When the school ran into trouble because Bomar and two other football players were being paid for work they didn't do at a Norman car dealership, Oklahoma was unable to detect the violations because it wasn't making sure athletes were filling out employment forms.

The letter was released Friday after an open records request by The Associated Press.

Oklahoma must submit annual compliance reports to the NCAA as part of its probation, which is set to end in May. Elworth's one-page letter informed the school that the NCAA had received and approved its 2009 report, but was seeking more information on the monitoring of athletes' employment in next year's report.

By failing to collect the forms -- claiming that athletes didn't fill them out -- Oklahoma was unable to detect that Bomar was paid more than $7,400 in extra benefits and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn got more than $8,100 from their time at Big Red Sports and Imports. The school also blamed a change in who was responsible for monitoring the forms for leading to the violations.

The NCAA penalized Oklahoma after ruling that it had information that at least one athlete worked at the car dealership, but didn't do enough to monitor the business.

Both players were dismissed and later transferred to other schools.

The third player involved, walk-on Jermaine Hardison, also was dismissed.

The university also reported three secondary violations of NCAA rules by the football team in recent months:

• Assistant coach Jackie Shipp inadvertently dialed the number of a prospect instead of his high school coach. The Sooners self-imposed a penalty that coaches would not contact the prospect during two opportunities when it would be permissible;

• An assistant strength coach allowed two family friends to work out at the Sooners' facility, even though they were of high-school age and could be recruited by one of the school's teams. The university said neither of the two was being recruited, and provided extra rules education to the training staff;

• The football staff was banned from contacting a high-school prospect for two months after it was discovered that he was a sophomore instead of a junior as listed on one recruiting service.

Secondary violations were also reported by the wrestling, men's and women's track, and baseball teams.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE