NCAA places Alabama football program on probation


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — 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.
The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions said Thursday the football team must vacate an unspecified number of
wins in which any of seven players took part during 2005-2007. The university identified the seven as
"intentional wrongdoers."
The NCAA said that 201 athletes in the 16 sports, including men’s basketball, obtained
"impermissible benefits" by using their scholarships to obtain free textbooks for other
students. It also found the university guilty of "failure to monitor."
The university was ordered to pay a $43,900 fine, close to the total value of the books.
Alabama identified 22 of the athletes as "intentional wrongdoers" who knew they were receiving
improper benefits. Fifteen were members of the women’s track and field programs who acquired textbooks
and materials of value greater than $100 for girlfriends, friends and other student-athletes. The four
biggest offenders in dollar value were football players, who received from $2,714 to $3,947 in improper
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 golf, swimming, tennis and track and field.
The university is a repeat violator since the program was placed on five years probation in Feb. 2002,
when it was also under the five-year window for basketball violations.
"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.
Forcing Alabama to vacate the wins, instead of forfeitures, means the opponents who lost those games
won’t be allowed to change their own records to reflect a victory.
The NCAA said some 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 NCAA said the athletes weren’t restricted by purchase limits or
required to show photo identification.
The university could not produce records before the 2005 fall semester, so it’s unclear if similar
violations occurred earlier.
Nick Saban replaced Mike Shula as coach after the 2006 football season and 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 its only wins in the
next six games came against Tennessee and Colorado in the Independence Bowl.

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