Alabama: NCAA Death Penalty Looms For "Unmatched Recent Violation History"

Max C Sconyers JrCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2011

Why are they picking on me?
Why are they picking on me?Chris Graythen/Getty Images

There is one thing that brings even more fear to the Crimson Tide faithful than a 24-point lead at home over Auburn—the NCAA.

The Death Penalty is openly discussed as a possibility for “flagrant and willful” violators.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions released a statement last year calling the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa the following:

A "serial repeat violator," with an "abysmal infractions track record" and an "extensive recent history of infractions cases unmatched by any other member institution in the NCAA.” 

Wow. Back on top again after all these years. 

Pretty tough words for our in-state brethren. Hopefully they said “Yes, Mama” and went home to clean house.

This was written in response to the school's textbook probation appeal (which was summarily denied). 

This is the school's most recent major NCAA rules violation. It has landed the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa (UAT) a three-year probation that will last through June 10, 2012, their second major NCAA violation in less than 10 years. 

The University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa is actually one of 11 institutions that have had two major infractions cases during the past decade: Ball State, Fresno State, Florida International, TCU, Alabama-Tuscaloosa, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma, Southern California and Washington are the others.

This looming Death Penalty may explain the recent sense of desperation in their public denial of blatantly obvious violations. This would also explain their screaming foul and waving their arms as the recent trend of losses to in-state rival Auburn continued this past season with a stunning loss of a 24-point lead, at home, that ultimately led to their third conference loss of the year, finishing in fourth place in the SEC Western Division and having a double-digit final national ranking. 

Big brother’s been getting spanked by everybody, no wonder he’s been so bad lately.

There were (allegedly) recruiting violations with current high school junior, Barry Sanders, Jr. He was seen at a recent home basketball game seated with his dad, Barry Sanders Sr. (NFL Hall of Famer) and coach Nick Saban sitting right between them. Sure, it’s conceivable they got their tickets from the same scalper. "Hey, Barry, what’s up!? Great seats, huh? Oh really, your son plays football? How nice."

I probably could have gotten two seats together. 


Now, I know this is big-time college football, right? Everybody does it, come on!  Well, let me make a correction—almost everyone does it. At least those in the student-athlete population at Alabama, anyway.



Get this—there were 201 student-athletes who were implicated in this violation. These student-athletes represented 16 varsity sports: Softball, baseball, women’s gymnastics, football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s swimming, women’s swimming, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track and field, women’s track and field, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. 

Every sport except rowing. Apparently, their books were wet. 

In regard to this current probation appeal, the NCAA went on to state:

“Therefore, pursuant to NCAA bylaws and, the institution will vacate all wins in which any of the seven football student-athletes identified by the institution as 'intentional wrongdoers' competed while ineligible during the 2005-06 through 2007-08 academic years. Further, in the sports of men’s tennis, men’s track and women’s track, the individual records of the 15 student-athletes identified as 'intentional wrongdoers' shall be vacated and team point totals shall be reconfigured accordingly. This includes regular season contests, postseason contests and any NCAA championship competition.”

Now, you just wait a cotton-picking minute there little lady, don’t you go getting all excited now, this is "The University" we’re talking about here, we won those games fair and square, you can’t expect us to give those games back, now can you? Do you even know who Bear Bryant was?

The Official University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa website,, which is partnered with College Network, according to information found on, continues to publish numerous records without change and without acknowledgment that the record is vacated as of this writing.

Just do as the little woman says now, play nice.

Instead of a postseason ban, loss of scholarships, or even the “death penalty,” the committee ordered the University of Alabama to vacate football wins in which any of the seven football players identified as “intentional wrongdoers” participated.

After paying the $43,900 to the NCAA and paying Birmingham attorney Bond Schoeneck, who billed the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa more than $188,000 to represent the athletics department, you would think they could come up with enough scratch to fix some old score books, couldn’t you? Where did that money come from?

Maybe they can have a Toomer’s Corner Firewood Fundraiser. 

Just make sure and burn it outside, wouldn’t want any toxic fumes getting more junk in that trunk.

Five football players—including three starters—were declared ineligible the night before a recent home football game against the University of Tennessee. This was when the NCAA accused the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa of "failure to adequately monitor its student-athlete textbook distribution system."

The university ultimately admitted to the accusations. 

These five were Antoine Caldwell, Glen Coffee, Marlon Davis, Marquis Johnson and Chris Rogers. There were later determined to be even more involved. 

Now the NCAA, on denying the appeal last year, wrote: 

"Therefore, pursuant to NCAA Bylaws and, the institution will vacate all wins in which any of the seven football student-athletes identified by the institution as 'intentional wrongdoers' competed while ineligible during the 2005-06 through 2007-08 academic years…The institution’s records regarding all of the involved sports, as well as the records of the head coaches of those sports will reflect the vacated records and will be recorded in all publications in which these records are reported, including, but not limited to, institution media guides, recruiting material, electronic and digital media plus institution and NCAA archives."

I don’t know brethren, you might want to pull those floppy disks out and do some rubbing on them. 

The original sanctions were handed down 20 months ago. The appeal was denied 11 months ago. What this should be about, is compelling the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa to capitulate. 

(That means to act right, just like you have been told.)

It is about making the Tide publicly admit to all the ways that they have cheated. But somehow, the university continues to thumb their nose at the NCAA while almost every blogger I hear from with a desire to name a child “Ally Bama,” swears on Bear’s grave they have never cheated.  

Alabama is like the spoiled rotten red-headed step-child momma’s boy who refuses to stop back-talking and mind the teacher and sit in the corner when he should have been made to clean up behind the pachyderms’ at the circus for the next month. 

“Cause my daddy’s a lawyer.”



Violation Summary: "Athletics representatives actively engaged in violations of recruiting and extra-benefit legislation with prospective student-athletes and provided impermissible recruiting inducements through high-school coaches. Including numerous secondary violations."

"This case is clear demonstration of the very great harm that athletics representatives can inflict on a university's competitive success as well as its reputation for integrity, fair dealing and playing by the rules.

"The challenge to intercollegiate athletics, the universities and programs that value their integrity is to create an ethos of vigilance in which fans and the vast majority of athletics representatives, coaches and athletic department staffs; faculty and administrators recognize that the great harm these rogue representatives cause can only be remedied by a concerted and on-going effort to report suspect conduct and attitudes so that universities can protect themselves."

Furthermore, from the NCAA:

"The evidence showed that, student-athlete No. 1, who made the all-Southeastern Conference Freshman Team, sought assistance from Alabama assistant coach C in selecting a dealership from which to purchase a car.

"According to student-athlete No. 1, the vehicle he received was a green, four-door Jeep with about 77,000 miles on the odometer. After taking possession, student-athlete No. 1 drove back to Tuscaloosa, where he spent the summer rehabilitating his injured shoulder.

"Student-athlete No. 1's mother reported that her son told her he got the Jeep Cherokee at no cost from a dealership in Georgia and that she recalled seeing a dealership plate on the car.

"The general manager of the dealership stated he was unable to identify the sales
representative who worked with student-athlete.

"According to student-athlete No. 1, student-athlete No. 3 said he was a good friend of athletics representative C and that athletics representative C could “hook him up” with the 'guy from Memphis.' Student-athlete No. 1 reported that he took note of what student-athlete 3 said because student-athlete No. 3 was driving a Mercedes Benz and always seemed to have money.

"Athletics representative C encouraged student-athlete No. 1 to continue playing well because it would only be a matter of time before athletics representative C would put the young man in touch with athletics representative A. Athletics representative C then gave student-athlete No. 1 a $100 bill.

"Student-athlete 1 reported that during his next trip to the apartment, he had yet another meeting with athletics representative C in a bedroom. During this conversation, athletics representative C identified himself as acting for athletics representative A and explained that athletics representative A wanted to meet student-athlete No. 1 because athletics representative A considered the young man to be a great player. Athletics representative C then gave him a $100 bill."

Alabama was a repeat offender and the University of Alabama’s self-imposed sanctions were inadequate. 

So, Mr. NCAA, how is that investigation going?

How is it that the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa can continue this culture of corruption with such impunity? 

Why is it that even with these obviously watered down, slap-on-the-wrist penalties, the University Of Alabama-Tuscaloosa can continue to refuse the findings and judgments handed down by the NCAA?

Well, the answer is as simple as pouring poison out of a bottle.

Because they want to—that’s why.



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