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Dishing out the discipline: SEC

Eight of the SEC's 12 football teams have been found guilty of major rules violations since 1987, including two in the past year.

Below is a list of programs cited for major violations since the NCAA made its strongest statement yet against cheating, the SMU "death penalty" case in 1987. rates the severity of those penalties on a 0-5 scale, with 5 as most severe.

Year: 2002
Violations: Accused of 11 major violations -- one was later withdrawn -- and five minor charges under two former coaches, Mike DuBose and Gene Stallings, including claims of boosters making five-figure payments to lure two recruits. The NCAA said a booster agreed to give the coach of Memphis recruit Albert Means $115,000 to get Means to sign with Alabama and said three payments of $10,000 were made.
Major penalties: The NCAA said it considered levying the death penalty on the Crimson Tide before settling on a two-year bowl ban, five years of probation and cuts of 21 scholarships over a three-year period.
Severity of sanctions: 4
Notable: Tide officials had admitted some violations and had imposed penalties on the program, including a reduction of 15 scholarships over three years and the temporary disassociation of three boosters at the heart of the recruiting scandal.

Year: 2002
Violations: The NCAA's infractions committee determined that more than $7,000 was spent by Kentucky, primarily through football operations director Claude Bassett, for impermissible recruiting inducements and monetary gifts to high school coaches and prospects. In addition to Bassett, the committee in its report directly or indirectly implicated two other assistant football coaches, a recruiting assistant, three student workers, a football camp director, members of the football equipment staff, eight players, at least six prospective players, two high school coaches and "numerous" boosters.
Major penalties: The Wildcats received a one-year bowl ban, the first the NCAA had handed down since 1995, and voluntarily agreed to drop the permissible limit of 25 initial scholarships to 16 in the 2002-03 school year, to 18 in 2003-04, and to 22 in 2004-05 -- for a potential loss of 19 scholarships. Rebounding from the sanctions will be made easier because the NCAA said it still will allow Kentucky to have as many as 80 players on scholarship -- down from the maximum 85 -- each year.
Severity of sanctions: 3
Notable: Bassett, who resigned under pressure in December 2000, was effectively banned from college sports for eight years. Cited for unethical conduct, he received a show-cause order, which means any NCAA institution that wishes to hire him during that period would have to demonstrate to the committee why it should not be penalized if it hired Bassett. Former head coach Hal Mumme was also charged with failing to properly monitor the program, although no restrictions were placed on him being hired for another job in college football. He resigned under pressure last February and did not coach last season, but is the leading candidate to be named head coach at SE Louisiana.

Year: 1997
Violations: Accused of improper recruiting contact by a booster and an improper recruiting visit by three players. Booster was a youth sports counselor in Palm Beach County, Fla., who allegedly had given prospects cash, meals and other benefits as inducements to sign with Georgia.
Major penalties: Limited to signing 20 recruits for one year (down from the usual maximum of 25 recruits), reduction in total scholarships available to 79 in '97 and 82 the following year (from usual maximum of 85), and two-year ban on recruiting in Palm Beach.
Severity of sanctions: 1
Notable: School self-imposed all of the penalties. No coaches were implicated in wrongdoing. But probe still annoyed then-coach Ray Goff, who said, "I can remember people around town making jokes like, 'Hey, they're buying players and they still can't win.' "

Mississippi State
Year: 1996
Violation: A Bulldogs recruiter accused of offering money to two prospects from Miami if they would visit the campus. A Bulldogs booster was also cited for allegedly giving improper bonuses, meals and loans to athletes who worked part-time at his publishing firm. School also charged with "lack of institutional control" for failing to properly investigate warnings that rules were being broken.
Major penalties: Limited to signing 12 recruits for one year (down from the usual maximum of 25 recruits), with reduction in total team scholarships to 80 (from usual 85) for that year.
Severity of sanctions: 2
Notable: Impact of recruiting cuts minimized because State already was loaded up on scholarship players. No evidence linked coach Jackie Sherrill or other department staff to the violations.

Year: 1995
Violations: Junior DB Antonio Langham signed with an agent after team's national-championship victory over Miami in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1993. RB Gene Jelks received $24,400 in loans based partly on his potential future earnings as a pro. School cited for lack of institutional control.
Major penalties: 1-year bowl ban; limited to signing 12 players (out of usual maximum of 25) for one year, with two-year reduction in total scholarships to 81 (from usual maximum of 85).
Severity of sanctions: 3
Notable: A NCAA appellate panel later vacated an erroneous finding that Alabama's faculty athletics representative, Tom Jones, had provided false information to the NCAA. The committee on infractions had judged Jones guilty without ever notifying Jones or Alabama of the charge.

Year: 1994
Violations: Allegations include a booster offering a car to a recruit and a member of the football staff offering cash to another recruit in exchange for signing with Rebels. Boosters also accused of improper contacts with recruits, including occasions in which recruits were taken to strip clubs in Memphis.
Major penalties: 1-year TV ban, 2-year bowl ban, and signing limit of 13 players for each of two years (down from the usual maximum of 25 recruits).
Severity of sanctions: 4
Notable: NCAA said it lowered hammer on Rebels because violations were similar to those in 1986 that previously got school in trouble. Fired coach Billy Brewer sued Ole Miss.

Year: 1993
Violations: Boosters, an assistant coach and staffers were cited for allegedly giving cash, merchandise and loans to defensive back Eric Ramsey, who had secretly tape-recorded conversations with members of the Auburn program during the Pat Dye era. School cited for lack of institutional control.
Major penalties: 2-year bowl ban, 1-year TV ban.
Severity of sanctions: 3
Notable: Conviction was Tigers' sixth time on probation, one shy of NCAA record. But program avoided "death penalty," as well as any significant scholarship cuts.

Year: 1991
Violations: Assistant coach allegedly arranged for an airline ticket on credit for a prospect to attend a special camp. Other accusations included improper off-campus contacts, impermissible transportation and recruitment of prospects before completion of junior year. Assistant coach also cited for allegedly encouraging witness to lie.
Major penalties: Reduction in total number of scholarships for two years to 85 (from then-maximum of 92 in '92 and 88 in '93).
Severity of sanctions: 1
Notable: Vols, ranked No. 6 in coaches' poll on day sanctions announced, were relieved that they received no serious penalties. "We have a good future," coach Johnny Majors said at the time.

Year: 1990
Violations: Former coach Galen Hall accused of giving former DB Jarvis Williams $360 and providing him a ride to pay for an overdue child support bill. Hall admitted to providing transportation but denied giving Williams any money. Also, an assistant coach was cited for allegedly providing a loan of at least $70 to a player using money from a booster.
Major penalties: 1-year bowl ban.
Severity of sanctions: 2
Notable: Coach Steve Spurrier raged at severity of penalties. But NCAA Committee on Infractions member John Nowak implied that the Gators should feel lucky, saying, "Florida got the biggest discount, on major penalties, that's ever been given in the NCAA's history." Florida was eligible for "death penalty" as a repeat violator.

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