This past weekend I was flipping channels and came across a riveting documentary on ESPN entitled “The Pony Express.” It traces the troubled past of the Southern Methodist University football program. Sports fans who read this blog will remember that in 1987 SMU received the “death penalty” from the NCAA for its many recruiting violations. The documentary includes some great interviews with former SMU players Eric Dickerson and Craig James, and former head football coach Ron Meyer (who left the program for the New England Patriots just before the NCAA began its crack down). I highly recommend it.
I thought about this documentary today when I read that SMU is in hot water again with the NCAA. Here is a short piece from Inside Higher Ed:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has placed Southern Methodist University on probation for two years for committing major violations of the association’s recruiting rules in men’s basketball. In the case, which was concluded through the NCAA’s summary disposition process (which is used when there is no dispute about the findings or penalties), SMU’s coaches sent impermissible text messages to parents of at least seven men’s basketball recruits, after getting erroneous advice from a former compliance officer about the propriety of doing so. The NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions and the university agreed on a series of recruiting restrictions this year and next as punishment for the violations.
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