The NCAA Dishonor Roll

February 17, 2005

Whenever a spate of recruiting or academic scandals hits college sports, critics typically suggest that "everybody does it" and defenders of the sports enterprise write off the wrongdoers as being among a relative handful of "bad apples."

Which is closer to the truth? Judging by one measure -- the number of big-time sports programs that committed major violations and were punished for them by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the first five years of this decade -- the truth is somewhere in between, but probably closer to the former than the latter.

Thirty of the 117 colleges that play in Division I-A, the NCAA's top competitive level  -- better than one in four -- were punished by the association's Committee on Infractions from 2000 to 2004, a review of the NCAA's database on major infractions shows.

Many of the nation's most prominent sports programs are among them, including Miami, Colorado, USC, Auburn, Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan and Nebraska. (The association actually punished Division I-A colleges 32 times during that time period, as two sports programs -- the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and the University of Washington -- were cited twice for rule breaking.)

The Southeastern Conference led the way: Half of its 12 members got spanked by the NCAA in the last five years. The association punished half of the Pacific 10 Conference's members, too, as well as five members of the Big 12 Conference. Only one league had no wrongdoers during the five-year period: Conference USA.

Fifteen of the 32 Division I-A cases involved football, and 15 involved the other big-money sport, men's basketball.

The punishments ranged from slaps on the wrist for relatively minor breaches to multi-year bans on televised and postseason play.

In total, 48 of the 326 Division I colleges, or about one in seven, were punished for rules violations. Three colleges from outside Division I-A -- California State University at Northridge, Stetson University and Tennessee State University -- were punished two times.


Below is a list of the institutions punished by the NCAA from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2004:

Auburn U.
Baylor U.
California State U. at Fresno
California State U. at Northridge (twice)
Chicago State U.
Gardner-Webb U.
Howard U.
Jackson State U.
Jacksonville U.
Marshall U.
Mississippi State U.
Mississippi Valley State U.
Murray State U.
New Mexico State U.
Northern Arizona U.
Prairie View A&M U.
Rutgers U.
St. Bonaventure U.
San Diego State U.
Southern Methodist U.
State U. of New York at Buffalo
Stetson U. (twice)
Stephen F. Austin U.
Tennessee State U. (twice)
U. of Alabama at Tuscaloosa
U. of Arkansas at Fayetteville
U. of California at Berkeley
U. of Colorado at Boulder
U. of Dayton
U. of Georgia
U. of Kentucky
U. of Louisiana at Monroe
U. of Miami
U. of Maryland at College Park
U. of Michigan at Ann Arbor
U. of Minnesota (twice)
U. of Missouri at Columbia
U. of Nebraska at Lincoln
U. of Nevada at Las Vegas
U. of Oregon
U. of South Alabama
U. of Southern California
U. of Texas at Austin
U. of Utah
U. of Washington (twice)
U. of Wisconsin at Madison
Villanova U.

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