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Top Five College Football Recruiting Scandals in NCAA History
The NCAA has strict rules governing recruitment activities of colleges and universities. Over the years, there have been some big scandals involving big schools and talented athletes.
Here are my picks for the top five recruitment scandals in the NCAA:
5. Auburn University
Auburn University was the focus of a scandal in 2010 when allegations were made that Cam Newton had been seeking money from two of the schools that were recruiting him. Allegedly, Newton's father asked for over $100,000 from each of the schools to secure Newton. Neither school paid. The NCAA investigated the allegations and found the Newton had no part in the scandal and, therefore, was still eligible to play.
4. University of Miami
The University of Miami, from 2002 to 2010, was allegedly offering recruits a variety of incentives that are definitely not allowed under NCAA rules. In addition to the typical violation of offering payments to recruits, Miami took it one step further. Miami allegedly offered prostitutes, and other items and services, to its recruits. The main individual involved in the activity was Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro was a booster with the school during those years. The school's investigation is still ongoing, but the school did decline to participate in the bowl games of 2011, and a number of students have been so far penalized.
3. University of Colorado
Unfortunately, the University of Miami was not the only school to resort to sex to try to get recruits in the door. The University of Colorado, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, used sex and alcohol to try to get recruits. Unfortunately, this combination led to allegations of rape in 2001. One of the more twisted aspects of the recruiting involved the use of female students for accompanying the players both on and off campus. The school was placed on probation from 2002 until 2004.
2. Clemson University
Clemson University has been the center of many scandals during its existence. The biggest one took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though the individual violations may not have involved sex, drugs or rape, the sheer volume of violations gave the NCAA little choice in what had to be done. Starting in 1983, the program was placed on probation, given limits on its scholarships, prohibited from bowl games and restricted from televised games for two years. In 1990, after further recruitment violations, the program again faced suspension.
1. Southern Methodist University
The No. 1 spot has to go to Southern Methodist University. The school has the dubious distinction of being the only football program to receive the proverbial death penalty. In the 1970s and 1980s, the team blatantly paid players to join the team and to stay with the school. The 1987 season was cancelled and SMU could not field a team for 1988. The school was also prohibited from offering scholarships until 1991. SMU was given such harsh punishment because of the number of infractions and the fact that SMU was already on probation for other violations.
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