Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The NCAA levied harsh sanctions against Texas Southern's athletic program on Tuesday, including the banning of the football program from postseason eligibility in 2013 and '14 and the men's basketball program in 2012-13.
The NCAA cited recruiting violations, academic improprieties, the use of ineligible athletes and exceeding scholarship limits across the athletic program.
The Division I Infractions Committee report said Texas Southern is a "double repeat violator" and that its athletics program has been on probation or had violations occurring on campus, or both, for 16 of the past 20 years.
The violations included a lack of institutional control and widespread violations, spanning 13 sports over a seven-year period. The report said the university allowed 129 student-athletes to compete and receive financial aid and travel expenses while ineligible. They had not met progress toward degree or transfer requirements.
Former head football coach Johnnie Cole, who was fired last year after leading the program to the 2010 SWAC championship, was prominent in the report. The NCAA said Cole and three former assistant football coaches were aware of a booster contacting potential transfers and their parents and that they allowed him to purchase an airline ticket for a prospective student-athlete's girlfriend through an acquaintance of Cole.
The report said the penalties in this case include:
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Five years probation from Oct. 9, 2012, through Oct. 8, 2017.
- Postseason ban for the 2013 and 2014 football seasons and 2012-13 men's basketball season.
- Three-year show-cause orders for Cole and former head men's basketball coach Tony Harvey. The public report contains further details.
- A limit of no more than 65 overall counters, 25 initial counters (from 30 maximum) and 60 equivalency scholarships (from 63 maximum) in football for four academic years.
- A limit of 11 men's basketball scholarships (from 13 maximum) for three academic years.
- Due to health and safety concerns related to the reductions in scholarships and squad size, during probation, the football team may only compete against FCS member schools.
- Vacation of all team records for the 2006-07 through 2009-10 academic years in all sports, and vacation of all team records for the 2010-11 academic year in football and women's soccer (self-imposed by the university).
- Reduction in the available number of recruiting person days by 10 for men's basketball during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
- During the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years, the university may only use half the available evaluation days in both the spring and fall evaluation periods in football.
- Football official paid visits are limited to 30 total per year for football and nine total per year for men's basketball during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.
- An in-person review of the university's athletics policies and practices must be conducted annually, at the university's expense, through the term of probation. The review must generate a report of his/her findings, to be submitted with the annual compliance reports and submitted to the committee.