Alright, lets take a quick break from the season preview to address a trend that has emerged just as conference media days began.
Following the conclusion of the investigation into the University of Southern California, Reggie Bush and the Trojan athletic program, a rash of allegations against other Football Bowl Subdivision schools regarding violations of NCAA regulations came to light.
The following schools are the schools under investigation and each contains a short summary of the problems/allegations facing the institution:
The NCAA is probing the Hurricane football program after allegations arose of improper benefits exchanged between Miami players and convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro.
Update 8/16/11: Yahoo! Sports reports there were “thousands” of NCAA violations committed from 2002 to 2010 and that seven coaches from Miami football and basketball were directly involved with known booster Nevin Shapiro.
Update 8/26/11: Miami has declared a number of players ineligible in order to begin the process of reinstatement for the first game of its season. Quarterback Jacory Harris is believed to be among those suspended.
Update 8/29/11: Miami President Donna Shalala released a video stating there is no timetable for the ongoing probe into the reported violations. Miami has also delayed the release of its depth chart to await word on the eligibility of its players.
Update 8/30/11: Twelve Hurricanes have been suspended between one and six games for accepting improper benefits, according to Yahoo! Sports. Jacory Harris and Olivier Vernon are among those suspended.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Various players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were found to have exchanged autographs and memorabilia for money and tattoos. There is some evidence that higher-ups knew about the infractions and did little to stop it. Coach Jim Tressel resigned on Memorial Day 2011.
Update 7/8/11: Ohio State has self-imposed vacation of the 2010-11 season and will await further word from the NCAA.
Update 7/22/11: An NCAA report states investigators found no new violations at Ohio State and former coach Jim Tressel was the only coach or official with knowledge of the violations and did not report them. Therefore the school will not be hit with the “failure to monitor” penalty that has hit so many of the other schools under the microscope of the NCAA.
Controversy surrounds scout Willie Lyles and his relationship both with the university and coach Chip Kelly. Lyles has purported ties to running back LaMichael James.
Update 7/1/11: Scouting service provider Willie Lyles told Yahoo! Sports that Oregon coach Chip Kelly personally approved a $25,000 fee that may have violated NCAA rules by using Lyles as an influence on potential recruits. The investigation is on-going.
Update 7/26/11: The University of Oregon released a statement at Pac-12 media day expressing their faith in the NCAA’s investigation and coach Chip Kelly refused to address the situation head on during the news conference.
Multiple sources are reporting that Heisman hopeful junior transfer quarterback Cam Newton has been implicated in a scheme to secure his commitment signature in return for a payment by Auburn. The investigation has been ongoing since July of 2010, and Newton’s father, Cecil Newton, has submitted financial documents to the NCAA in response.
Newton has moved on to the NFL.
Update 11/11/10: Kenny Rodgers, who allegedly had sought the funds necessary for Mississippi State to sign Newton, told ESPN Radio in Dallas that Cecil Newton put a price tag on Cam’s commitment in the range of $100,000 to $180,000 — although he does not know if Cam Newton knew of the arrangement.
Update 7/14/11: The New York Times reports that the Tigers are still under investigation regarding the recruitment of Newton.
Central Florida Knights
The NCAA is investigating the involvement of Ken Caldwell, a former AAU basketball coach, in Central Florida’ recruitment of both basketball and football players.
Update 8/17/11: ESPN reports UCF has been served its official notice of allegations for the matter and that Caldwell and his son, Erik, might have committed violations.
North Carolina Tar Heels
The NCAA is investigating whether defensive tackle Marvin Austin and wide receiver Greg Little received improper benefits from an agent. Neither player has made any comment regarding the situation, however Tar Heel coach Butch Davis was expected to make his first comment on the investigation during upcoming media appearances.
The NCAA has already visited Chapel Hill to begin their investigation.
Coach Butch Davis has been fired.
Update 8/26/10: The NCAA has expanded their investigation to include the possibility of academic impropriety. Austin, defensive end Robert Quinn and linebacker Bruce Carterf are alleged to have received ineligible tutoring from coach Davis’s nanny.
Update 9/17/10: Austin will appear before the Secretary of State’s office to give testimony after he was subpoenaed by the office on September 5. Austin will be testifying about whether agents violated the Uniform Athletes Agents Act.
The act prohibits agents from giving any athlete not under contract with an agency from furnishing said athlete with anything of value. The act also requires notification of a school’s Athletic Director within 72 of reaching an agreement with any athlete.
Update 9/23/10: Among the 12 players under investigation by the NCAA, the first two have received their punishments. Kendric Burney will receive a six-game suspension, while Deunta Williams will receive four. The NCAA found that Burney received improper benefits equivalent to $1,333 and Williams received the equivalent of $1,426.
In order to regain eligibility, Williams and Burney must repay their benefits in full.
Update 9/30/10: A Yahoo! Sports investigation has revealed ties between former North Carolina assistant coach John Blake and NFL agent Gary Wichard which seem to indicate that Blake was paid to steer Tar Heels in the direction of Wichard’s firm.
Update 10/1/10: Williams and Burney’s appeals to the NCAA were unsuccessful and both will serve out the entirety of their suspension.
Update 10/11/10: Marvin Austin has been dismissed from the North Carolina football team. Greg Little and Robert Quinn have been ruled permanently ineligible.
Updtae 11/11/11: The University of North Carolina has released a letter stating that student athletes were provided “impermissible” financial and academic support by Jennifer L. Wiley, a family friend of coach Butch Davis, who had been tutoring his son.
Update 6/16/11: UNC will release important phone records in the case, as requested by a variety of media sources.
Update 7/26/11: At ACC media day, UNC coach Butch Davis said he took responsibility “fully and completely” for the events that led to UNC being served its notice of allegations last month. Davis, however, said he has no plans of quitting the position.
Update 7/27/11: UNC has fired coach Butch Davis just two days after he said he had no intention of leaving the job.
Boise State Broncos
Boise State’s football program is being investigated for improper benefits given to potential recruits.
Update 5/2/11: The benefits allegedly given to potential recruits adds to $4,934 for housing, transportation and meals provided to 63 potential Broncos, reports the Idaho Statesman.
Update 9/2/11: Three Broncos will be forced to miss the Broncos game against Georgia pending a review of the three player’s eligibility.
The NCAA is reportedly investigating the single season former Volunteer coach Lane Kiffin was in Knoxville — specifically his recruiting practices during his short stay. Previously the school was being investigated for the use of “hostesses” to attract players to the team, however now the investigation has asked to talk with former Volunteer Bryce Brown.
Brown was recruited to Tennessee under Kiffin, but decided to rescind his commitment after Kiffin took a job with the University of Southern California in January 2010. The NCAA hopes to question Brown about Kiffin’s recruiting practices.
Update 6/11/11: The NCAA has begun its hearing on the case.
Update 8/24/11: The NCAA announced it had insufficient evidence to hand down punishment for major infractions, but was “troubled” by the plethora of secondary violations under former coach Lane Kiffin.
Georgia and former USC linebacker Jarvis Jones was named in a police report saying he received benefits from a state Parks and Recreations officer with ties to Jones’ AAU basketball team. These benefits are estimated to be worth $828.40, which might have been used to fly Jones from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
Update 7/18/11: Jones is still eligible to play, and it is unclear whether or not the NCAA is in fact investigating. Georgia is handling its own investigation at this time.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Demaryius Thomas’ eligibility had been called into question following an apparent gift of clothing valued at $312. Morgan Burnett, who was allegedly at the event at which Thomas recieved the gift, did not receive any himself. Both deny either received any improper gifts.
Update 7/14/11: The NCAA has placed Georgia Tech under four-years probation and vacated its 2009 wins. The school was also fined $100,000. The punishment stems from what the NCAA called “uncooperative and manipulative” behavior during their investigation into the claims.
Update 7/28/11: The university will file an appeal to the NCAA to restore it 2009 ACC title.
The NCAA is investigating whether the recruitment of a certain play violated NCAA regulations. An assistant coach is being investigated for providing the recruit with transportation, lodging and a phone.
Update 7/19/11: The NCAA has placed LSU on a one-year probation and classified the violations as major, also hitting LSU with recruiting and scholarships.
South Carolina Gamecocks
Gamecock tight end Weslye Saunders, who is good friends with Tar Heel Marvin Austin has been questioned in regards the inquiry into North Carolina.
No immediate allegations were levied against South Carolina, sources told ESPN that they were looking into the time Saunders and Austin spent in Florida this spring, seemingly in relation to the party Georgia’s Green was present at.
Update 8/13/10: Further investigations have taken place into the living arrangements of certain players, especially those who may have stayed at the Whitney Hotel in Columbia, South Carolina. Saunders is among the at least three players with rooms at the Hotel.
Update 8/16/10: The NCAA is insisting its investigation is squarely on Weslye Saunders, and not the Gamecock program as a whole, reports The Big Spur.
Both Florida and NCAA investigators are looking into suspicious relationships between former Gator offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey and an agency representative or “runner”. The alleged activity includes a $100,000 payment made to Puncey between last season’s SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl.
If the charges hold, the Gators may be forced to vacate their victory over Cincinnati in the 2010 Sugar Bowl.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Defensive lineman Marcell Dareus is alleged to have attended the same party as A.J. Green, Marvin Austin and Weslye Saunders and both NCAA and Alabama investigators are looking into the situation. The investigators aim to determine who supplied or paid for food, transportation and accommodations during the extended weekend stay of the players.
Update 10/3/10: Further Yahoo! Sports reports have alleged that former North Carolina assistant John Blake recommended agent Gary Wichard to Dareus during the summer of 2009. This would further earlier allegations of Blake steering college players to Wichard and his Pro Tect Management agency.
West Virginia Mountaineers
On August 5, West Virginia admitted that it was under investigation for hiring practices and the activities of “graduate assistant” coaches. The time period in which the investigation is looking spans from 2005-2009 and includes both current coach Bill Stewart and former coach Rich Rodriguez.
Update 7/12/11: The NCAA has approved West Virginia’s self-imposed punishment for their violations: two-years probation and the elimination of two graduate assistant positions.