The Sooners are no strangers to the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. With six football cases in their file, it's no shock to find them near the top of this list. That said, prior to Bomar-gate Oklahoma had kept its nose clean for almost 20 years. Almost.
In incidents contained in the 1988 case report were touched off when the NCAA's Project Intercept picked up on some suspicious Sooner recruiting practices. Project Intercept was a program which interviewed top prospects in basketball and football, trying to catch violations of NCAA recruiting rules. For all intents and purposes, it was a fishing expedition... and during their fishing in 1985, the NCAA hooked a whopper.
Jim Dent's tales in The Undefeated of vast sums of cash in coaches' desk drawers have long since passed, but there was still some money to be tossed around in the mid-80s. The 1988 infraction report cites a Sooners assistant coach for arranging a no-show job worth upwards of $6,000 for a prospective player and for offering another $1,000 in cash. The football recruiting coordinator probably made a nice commission selling football players' game tickets for them and head coach Barry Switzer (one known for his integrity and sense of fair-play) made various inappropriate uses of his personal checkbook, including supplementing the salaries of some of his staff.
Not only that, remember the bidding war that I mentioned in the Oklahoma State write-up? Conspicuously, Oklahoma was in a bidding war for a highly touted recruit at around the same time. I wonder if those two things are related. The biggest difference between the Cowboys' involvement and Oklahoma's is that OSU won.
Oklahoma's habitual appearances before the committee certainly didn't help their situation. The NCAA put the Sooners on probation for three years, prohibited them from post-season play for two, and gave a one-year TV ban. In addition the NCAA zapped 24 of OU's scholarships, a number that ranks in the top 5 for single violations over the relevant time frame (only Cincinnati, Auburn, and Miami had more).
We're all pretty familiar with the 2007 infraction. An "anonymous" email to the NCAA and Oklahoma on March 6th of last year informed both of them that quarterback Rhett Bomar, guard JD "Get a Real Job" Quinn, and walk-on Jermaine Hardison were getting paid for work they didn't do at a local booster's car dealership.
According to the NCAA, Bomar scored more than $7,400 in unearned cash while Quinn picked up an extra $8,100. Hardison only managed to get away with $1,400.
Stoops dismissed Bomar and Quinn relatively quickly, for which the Sooners were credited, but the NCAA noted the duration of the violation as an enhancing factor in the slap on the wrist that Oklahoma received. The Sooners will see their probation extended by two years, they lose four scholarships, and they had to vacate their wins in which Bomar and Quinn participated (the vacated games are being appealed).
- Unethical conduct: '88 (5 points)
- Failure to monitor: '07 (10 points)
- Lack of institutional control: '88 (10 points)
- Probation: 5 years total (10 points)
- Post-season ban: 2 years (6 points)
- Television ban: 1 year (3 points)
- Initial scholarships: 28 (14 points)
- Total: 58.00 points (1988: 42 points; 2007: 16 points)