NCAA slams Bama over book policy

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The NCAA placed Alabama’s football program and 15 other of the school’s athletic teams on three years’ probation for major violations due to misuse of free textbooks, stripping the Crimson Tide of 21 football wins over a three-year period.

The NCAA said 201 athletes in 16 sports obtained “impermissible benefits” by using their scholarships to obtain free textbooks for other students. Alabama identified 22 athletes, including seven football players, as “intentional wrongdoers” who knew they were receiving improper benefits.

As a result, the NCAA ruled the football team must vacate any wins in which any of those seven players took part during 2005-07. Alabama said that pending a successful appeal, the decision would cost the program 21 wins, including the 2005 Cotton Bowl victory over Texas Tech and an upset of Florida earlier that season.

Eight of the wins using ineligible players occurred in 2005, Mike Shula’s best season as coach.

Neither the football team nor any other sport lost postseason eligibility or scholarships.

“The penalty itself is not one that’s directed at the coach,” said Paul Dee, who chairs the committee on infractions and is a former University of Miami athletic director. “It’s one that involves the team. It’s one that involves the players and we believe it’s the appropriate penalty under these circumstance.”

The other 15 “wrongdoers” were members of the men’s tennis, and men’s and women’s track and field programs. The NCAA said those individuals must vacate any records they hold and team point totals will be reconfigured accordingly from regular season and postseason events.

The student-athletes acquired textbooks and materials of value greater than $100 for friends and other student-athletes. The four biggest offenders in dollar value were among the seven football players, who received from $2,714 to $3,947 in improper benefits.

The other sports hit with probation were softball, baseball, gymnastics, women’s basketball, soccer, volleyball and both the men’s and women’s teams in basketball, golf, swimming, tennis and track and field. Only five of the school’s 21 athletic programs were not involved.

The university was ordered to pay a $43,900 fine.

Alabama officials expressed disappointment with the severity penalties, noting that no coach or staff member was involved and none of the players gained financially. Athletic director Mal Moore said the university was considering an appeal.

“A small number of athletes took advantage of the program to obtain textbooks for their friends, textbooks that had to be returned or paid for at the end of the semester,” university president Robert Witt said. “It’s important to note that no coach or staff member was involved in the violation, no sport gained a competitive advantage and not one athlete pocketed $1.

“The penalties imposed affect the past. They do not impact our future. They in no way affect the ability of our football team to compete fully without competitive disadvantage.”

Neither Moore nor Witt fielded questions after delivering prepared statements.

Alabama, which didn’t contest the allegations, is a repeat violator because the program was placed on five years’ probation in February 2002, when it was also under the five-year window for basketball violations.

The sanctions come at a time when Alabama fans were celebrating the football program’s return to national prominence. Coach Nick Saban led the Tide to a 12-0 record and a No. 1 ranking last season, before the team lost to Florida in the SEC title game and Utah in the Sugar Bowl.

The university uncovered the violations after an Alabama Supply Store employee realized that an athlete had more than $1,600 in charges for the fall 2007 semester and alerted school officials. Athletes get free textbooks with their scholarship, but some were accused of getting additional textbooks for other students.

The NCAA said the athletes weren’t restricted by purchase limits or required to show photo identification.

Alabama has changed some of its procedures, including requiring compliance officials to be present when student-athletes pick up their books.

“We conducted an exhaustive review and we have corrected and strengthened our textbook monitoring process,” Moore said.

Saban, who replaced Shula after the 2006 season, suspended five players — Antoine Caldwell, Glen Coffee, Marquis Johnson, Chris Rogers and Marlon Davis — for four games when the university uncovered the violations in 2007. The Tide was 5-2 at that point, and finished the season 7-6.

“I am happy for the players,” Saban said at a golf event in Birmingham. “This is not going to affect their future or the players we are recruiting.”

The university has said the athletes involved who still have eligibility remaining have had to pay restitution.

“Although the committee commends the institution for self-discovering, investigating and reporting the textbook violations, it remains troubled, nonetheless, by the scope of the violations in this instance and by the institution’s recent history of infractions cases,” the NCAA said.

Opponents who lost games vacated by Alabama won’t be allowed to change their records to reflect a victory.

The NCAA said about 125 athletes received benefits totaling less than $100 each. The university was cited for not adequately monitoring the process or having a system for detecting the violations on a timely basis.

The university could not produce records before the 2005 fall semester, so it’s unclear if similar violations occurred earlier.

Dee praised Alabama’s handling of the matter once the wrongdoing was uncovered.

“I think that the University of Alabama in this particular case had a problem that was just magnified by the number of athletes that were involved and the system that they had in place had what I might consider a gap in it,” he said. “And the student-athletes took advantage of it.”

A SUMMARY OF PENALTIES:

A summary of penalties the NCAA imposed for violations in 16 of Alabama’s 21 athletic programs for misuse of free textbooks:

—Public reprimand and censure.

—Three years probation, extending until June 10, 2012. That includes a reopening of the five-year repeat violator window.

—Vacating the 21 football wins in which seven players identified by the university as “intentional wrongdoers” participated while ineligible during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons. That includes the 2005 Cotton Bowl victory over Texas Tech.

—In men’s tennis and men’s and women’s track and field, the individual records of 15 athletes will be vacated and team point totals reconfigured accordingly. The tennis team would lose a first-round NCAA victory over Duke in 2007.

—The records of the programs and the head coaches will be changed to reflect the vacated wins in any publications, including media guides and recruiting material.

—Any public references to the vacated wins, including conference championships will be removed from athletic department stationery and banners.

—University must pay $43,900 fine to NCAA.

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Comments » 174

suPEARLman writes:

HAHA!!!

JMP_Vols writes:

Any scholarship losses?

TideGolf348yds writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

rockitwithrespect writes:

oh well

give_him_6 writes:

Oooops...somebodys been bad!!!! LMAO!!!!

Orangelife writes:

Good. I hate Bama

RJ_Vol writes:

The penalty should be much larger since this is three offenses in the last 15 or so years...AND IMO this was one where the university most definitely knew about the offense and had reportedly participated in it. So what is three years probation - nothing? Let's hope the NCAA takes bowl games and scholarships. Anything less is unacceptable. What do you think would happen to UT if we had done the same, the first go around and not the third?

JMP_Vols writes:

in response to TideGolf348yds:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Pretty light punishment.

Forfeiting wins really has no impact on what's going on now.

Bama fans should be relieved.

gohawks1 writes:

Wooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooo!

us43137415#376444 writes:

Bama, what is the matter with you people? Can't you EVER get it right? There are some things you just cannot do. You've already been on "double secret probation".. you've already been one step from the "death penalty." You've had players with agents, players accepting work, players accepting money..

Lane Kiffin may have a big mouth, but he's new. Saban should have known better.

BTW, waiting to see which games we win from you guys.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to JMP_Vols:

Any scholarship losses?

The article says no schollys will be lost. Dang.

JMP_Vols writes:

in response to gohawks1:

The article says no schollys will be lost. Dang.

Ridiculous.

I figured after the 2002 probation, the NCAA would really come down on them for ANY future infractions.

Probation for three years is nothing. Bama has lived on probation for so many years its basically second nature at this point.

suPEARLman writes:

in response to TideGolf348yds:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So this is what it looks like when wishful thinking is typed up on a message board!

Thanks!!

GO VOLS!!

Seahawk writes:

Much ado about nothing. Vacated wins cannot be counted as wins by opposing teams. No scholarship losses. Essentially, a case about some athletes (mostly non-football athletes) giving friends "vouchures" to obtain school books. Petty stuff that goes on at every school across the country.

vtvol#210290 writes:

Quick...somebody from ESPN report Kiffin for these violations! Oh, wait a minute, this happened at Bumma!

joshvols writes:

in response to TideGolf348yds:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Uthug? this shows the amount of class (or lack threreof) of alabama fans. you get caught, and immediately run to a UT website to post comments about how it's bad for us. On second thought it might not show a lack of class as much as it shows a wealth of ignorance.

gbeejr#1354500 writes:

NCAA slams door? More like leaving the sliding door partly opened. The author of this story must have wrote that with a good laugh because this isn't much more than a slap on the wrist. No scholly deduction, no problem. Slime.....er, Slive probably worked overtime to minimize the penalties.

ravensearay writes:

Oh well....too bad...so sad......glad it's you and not us.

GO VOLS - KICK their B-tts on the field.

gohawks1 writes:

So does this mean that Alabama doesn't get credit for beating LA Monroe in 2007? Oh wait, they didn't win that one anyway, lol!

voloffaith writes:

in response to JMP_Vols:

Any scholarship losses?

Read the last paragraph for your answer on Schollies....

A slap on the wrist. Will cost them in all time series records with SEC teams. But no apparent loss of papers to sign athletes by.

voloffaith writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

on topic or off topic?

Wr has nothing to do with Bamma getting a slap on the wrist for textbook misuse.....

littleorange writes:

A slap on the wrist for Bama.......watch the trolls declare another victory for the cheating Tide.

secsecsec writes:

in response to us43137415#376444:

Bama, what is the matter with you people? Can't you EVER get it right? There are some things you just cannot do. You've already been on "double secret probation".. you've already been one step from the "death penalty." You've had players with agents, players accepting work, players accepting money..

Lane Kiffin may have a big mouth, but he's new. Saban should have known better.

BTW, waiting to see which games we win from you guys.

For the sake of accuracy- Saban found out about the textbook issue literally right before the start of the Tennessee game in 2007. He immediately suspended the 4 players involved for that game and for the rest of the season. That was a gutsy call by a veteran coach. It remains to be seen if that win against Tennessee will have to be vacated. He then went on to lose the next 4 games- including a loss to La.Tech. I think the man made a gutsy move and should be commended- not ridiculed. Right and wrong are binary- and shouldn't be prejudiced by the color of the uniform that we root for.

Most of the wins being vacated are from the Mike Shula era. As you mentioned Kiffin is new- Shula was new- instead of praising or defending Kiffin for the secondary violations and for making disparaging remarks toward opposing schools- fans need to be saying 'enough is enough' bad publicity is bad publicity. If, by CLK's logic- whatever it takes to get the Tennessee name out there (in the media) is his goal- then Alabama should be ecstatic today with all of this "free" publicity. My guess is that they aren't.

Bad publicity is bad publicity. Just as Tennessee fans are laughing at Bama today for their "cheating"- so has the rest of the nation at the actions/sayings of CLK and Tennessee. The notion that bad publicity is better than no publicity is severely damaging to the national reputation of Tennessee's program. We can all laugh and deride Alabama today- mainly because we are glad that it isn't us being laughed at for a change.

kiffownsfla writes:

Dont they ever learn good lord! GO VOLS!

82cat writes:

The books were real nice and some had not even been colored in yet!

ravensearay writes:

Probably the best blog I have ever read on here.

tripper writes:

Whatever secsecsec, Bama has always cheated and will continue to cheat. Only good to come out of this is that Bama is one step closer to the "death penalty". Second of all, these are not "secondary violations" so there is no comparison between Kiffin and Shula/Saban.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to secsecsec:

For the sake of accuracy- Saban found out about the textbook issue literally right before the start of the Tennessee game in 2007. He immediately suspended the 4 players involved for that game and for the rest of the season. That was a gutsy call by a veteran coach. It remains to be seen if that win against Tennessee will have to be vacated. He then went on to lose the next 4 games- including a loss to La.Tech. I think the man made a gutsy move and should be commended- not ridiculed. Right and wrong are binary- and shouldn't be prejudiced by the color of the uniform that we root for.

Most of the wins being vacated are from the Mike Shula era. As you mentioned Kiffin is new- Shula was new- instead of praising or defending Kiffin for the secondary violations and for making disparaging remarks toward opposing schools- fans need to be saying 'enough is enough' bad publicity is bad publicity. If, by CLK's logic- whatever it takes to get the Tennessee name out there (in the media) is his goal- then Alabama should be ecstatic today with all of this "free" publicity. My guess is that they aren't.

Bad publicity is bad publicity. Just as Tennessee fans are laughing at Bama today for their "cheating"- so has the rest of the nation at the actions/sayings of CLK and Tennessee. The notion that bad publicity is better than no publicity is severely damaging to the national reputation of Tennessee's program. We can all laugh and deride Alabama today- mainly because we are glad that it isn't us being laughed at for a change.

SEC, but the difference is UT has secondary violations, not kids selling text books to make money. This is just bama history which will never change.

Sure CLK is running off at the mouth but most UT fans don't care, and like I said it's just sec. violations. Not something that is going to put us on probation.

tripper writes:

Secondly, don't act like your a VOL fan.

BigOrangeVol writes:

Their recruiting violations are just around the corner. The other cleat will be dropping soon.

TommyJack writes:

Bringl back DuBose and the bad comb-over. Much more representative of Bama.

Seahawk writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

SEC, but the difference is UT has secondary violations, not kids selling text books to make money. This is just bama history which will never change.

Sure CLK is running off at the mouth but most UT fans don't care, and like I said it's just sec. violations. Not something that is going to put us on probation.

They weren't selling text books to make money. They gave friends "vouchures" so they could obtain textbooks. The same petty stuff goes on at every school across the country.

JMP_Vols writes:

in response to Seahawk:

They weren't selling text books to make money. They gave friends "vouchures" so they could obtain textbooks. The same petty stuff goes on at every school across the country.

Are there other schools on probation for similar acts?

tripper writes:

in response to Seahawk:

They weren't selling text books to make money. They gave friends "vouchures" so they could obtain textbooks. The same petty stuff goes on at every school across the country.

Really? Who?

UTBEATEMALL writes:

in response to secsecsec:

For the sake of accuracy- Saban found out about the textbook issue literally right before the start of the Tennessee game in 2007. He immediately suspended the 4 players involved for that game and for the rest of the season. That was a gutsy call by a veteran coach. It remains to be seen if that win against Tennessee will have to be vacated. He then went on to lose the next 4 games- including a loss to La.Tech. I think the man made a gutsy move and should be commended- not ridiculed. Right and wrong are binary- and shouldn't be prejudiced by the color of the uniform that we root for.

Most of the wins being vacated are from the Mike Shula era. As you mentioned Kiffin is new- Shula was new- instead of praising or defending Kiffin for the secondary violations and for making disparaging remarks toward opposing schools- fans need to be saying 'enough is enough' bad publicity is bad publicity. If, by CLK's logic- whatever it takes to get the Tennessee name out there (in the media) is his goal- then Alabama should be ecstatic today with all of this "free" publicity. My guess is that they aren't.

Bad publicity is bad publicity. Just as Tennessee fans are laughing at Bama today for their "cheating"- so has the rest of the nation at the actions/sayings of CLK and Tennessee. The notion that bad publicity is better than no publicity is severely damaging to the national reputation of Tennessee's program. We can all laugh and deride Alabama today- mainly because we are glad that it isn't us being laughed at for a change.

We noticed the damage to UT's nation reputation when we signed the No.1 overall high school player, when we received a verbal commit on signining day from the No.1 overall high school player in this recruiting year, and had the largest turn out in decades for our football camps. Please do some homework before you start to spew your hopes and dreams as knowledge.

hotrodvol writes:

Come to think about it, Saban loves to recruit, and he will push the envolope. Now he will have to be more careful or risk getting in trouble. Three years is a long time, maybe those runners from Memphis will slow down to a trickle (wink wink).

crappieking writes:

in response to TideGolf348yds:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I have one simple question for you...... Do you have a full set of teeth?

suPEARLman writes:

in response to voloffaith:

on topic or off topic?

Wr has nothing to do with Bamma getting a slap on the wrist for textbook misuse.....

relax....

bluetick writes:

in response to gohawks1:

The article says no schollys will be lost. Dang.

Yea but more recruits are going to keep in mind they will be on probation for 3 years and should have some effect on which school they choose to go to. Anybody considering UT and bama would probably opt for Rocky Top instead of bama.

UTBEATEMALL writes:

in response to secsecsec:

For the sake of accuracy- Saban found out about the textbook issue literally right before the start of the Tennessee game in 2007. He immediately suspended the 4 players involved for that game and for the rest of the season. That was a gutsy call by a veteran coach. It remains to be seen if that win against Tennessee will have to be vacated. He then went on to lose the next 4 games- including a loss to La.Tech. I think the man made a gutsy move and should be commended- not ridiculed. Right and wrong are binary- and shouldn't be prejudiced by the color of the uniform that we root for.

Most of the wins being vacated are from the Mike Shula era. As you mentioned Kiffin is new- Shula was new- instead of praising or defending Kiffin for the secondary violations and for making disparaging remarks toward opposing schools- fans need to be saying 'enough is enough' bad publicity is bad publicity. If, by CLK's logic- whatever it takes to get the Tennessee name out there (in the media) is his goal- then Alabama should be ecstatic today with all of this "free" publicity. My guess is that they aren't.

Bad publicity is bad publicity. Just as Tennessee fans are laughing at Bama today for their "cheating"- so has the rest of the nation at the actions/sayings of CLK and Tennessee. The notion that bad publicity is better than no publicity is severely damaging to the national reputation of Tennessee's program. We can all laugh and deride Alabama today- mainly because we are glad that it isn't us being laughed at for a change.

According to all you BAMA and GATOR fans, Fulmer was a fat horrible coach who cheated without getting caught, snitched about things he was doing himself, and allowed UT to be thug central. I'm sorry how are you all going to insinuate that Kiffin is now bring UT down of it's lofty perch! Let me hear you back up this point by admitting that Fulmer was the greatest coach in the SEC during his era, ran a model program for the rest of the country to admire, and that Kiffin is not going to be able to duplicate the decade of absolute dominance that Fulmer rained over BAMA!! lmao

volpreacher writes:

may not be as harsh as we all would have wanted but think about it guys. This will affect recruiting. Don't think for a minute the other coaches won't use this as recruiting banter. Just imagine, "Hey recruit #1, if you were to choose Alabubba, if they make one more mistake which is likely, then they won't get to go to bowl games or win championships." This is a win guys. It's only a matter of time before Alabubba flubs up again.

dw0731 writes:

in response to Seahawk:

Much ado about nothing. Vacated wins cannot be counted as wins by opposing teams. No scholarship losses. Essentially, a case about some athletes (mostly non-football athletes) giving friends "vouchures" to obtain school books. Petty stuff that goes on at every school across the country.

This is a lot to do about nothing. Zero scholarship losses and bowl games, where is the penalty? Probation normally means loss of post season play.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to crappieking:

I have one simple question for you...... Do you have a full set of teeth?

He is just missing one in the front, but his sister said he sure is purty.

senracjr writes:

in response to Seahawk:

They weren't selling text books to make money. They gave friends "vouchures" so they could obtain textbooks. The same petty stuff goes on at every school across the country.

If this is true then it means the players were giving away thier text books, which means the players aren't taking classes which then means that is another major violation!

DonJuan writes:

in response to TideGolf348yds:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All we've heard from bama was that "this isn't big" and "the football team won't be effected." Now you say it will go away with appeals? Keep wishing. Next, you guys will try to say it never happened.

Uthug? I can only assume you are talking about Alabama here. After all, this is an article about the University of Alabama getting punished for their athletes stealing. Alabama is the face of cheating in the SEC to a whole new generation.

Fulmer back in two years? Are you serious about this or could you just not find a better way to say you don't think Kiffin will work out? I wouldn't want to hang my reputation on a quote like that.

Nothing you said can stand up to an argument. Stay off this board with that weak garbage.

spvol writes:

Saban has banned players from having any contact with textbooks in the future.

Raynoch writes:

in response to TideGolf348yds:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is your username cheesy enough?

Why would Bammer want the probation back? What does that even mean?

NashvillePreds writes:

Hahahahahahhahahah...

Couldn't happen to a better school.

NashvillePreds writes:

How long before the Bama blowhards start blaming this on Fulmer?

Once again,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Volunteerfan writes:

in response to 82cat:

The books were real nice and some had not even been colored in yet!

This is tooooooo funny!!! Did they stay in between the lines on the ones they did color? Oh wait, that is part of their Alabama entrance exam. My Bad! Wrong test

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