The Southern Methodist University Football Program Essay

The Southern Methodist University Football Program Essay

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The Southern Methodist University football scandal, also known as Ponygate, was one of the most severe consequences that the NCAA has ever given out to a college or university. In this instance, the Southern Methodist University football program was found to be illegally paying their players after already being in trouble with the NCAA several times. The first time this football program had been caught by the NCAA for not following its rules was in 1985. This was when an incident regarding offensive lineman Sean Stopperich came up. Prior to transferring schools after going through an injury which made him unable to play, he was paid $5,000 by one of the Southern Methodist Universities booster programs to attend the school and play football there. This caused “the NCAA to place SMU on three years of probation in 1985, limit its postseason appearances, ban the boosters involved and strip the football program of 45 scholarships.” This did not show the program or the school a lesson though. Again in 1986 the Southern Methodist University football program was found breaking NCAA rules. This was their seventh time they had broken and been caught breaking NCAA rules. This time it was found that, “an unnamed booster had been found to have paid 13 Mustang players $61,000 from a slush fund with the approval of key members of the SMU athletic staff.” The result of this complication with NCAA rules is what became known as the, “death penalty”. This death penalty declared that there were to be, “no football in '87. only seven games in '88. no television or bowl appearances until 1989 and restrictions on off-campus recruiting and the number of assistant coaches until 1989 SMU which signed no high school players to letters of intent this winter...

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Thelin, John R., and Lawrence L. Wiseman. The old college try: balancing academics and athletics in higher education. Washington, D.C.: School of Education and Human Development, the George Washington University, 1989.

Weingarten, Paul. "Governor 'Sorry' For Smu Scandal." Chicago Tribune, March 12, 1987.

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