NCAA Sanctions: 5 Teams That Could Be Next
It seems like every major college football program has been investigated by the NCAA lately.
USC set the stage when they were given the dreaded "lack of institutional control" mark last June after former running back Reggie Bush was said to have received improper benefits.
The penalty the Trojans faced came as a wake-up call for many schools and established the NCAA as an organization to be feared.
Soon after USC's sanctions were handed down, schools like North Carolina, Auburn, Boise State and Ohio State have all been looked at closely by the NCAA.
Now that the USC case has officially ended after the denied appeal, here are five football programs that could be next on the NCAA chopping block.
The University of North Carolina Tar Heels
The University of North Carolina has been under investigation by the NCAA several times since last summer.
Most of the controversy surrounding the Tar Heels came from former defensive end, Marvin Austin. Austin was dismissed by the North Carolina football program last October after the NCAA indicated that he had taken benefits from agents, received preferential treatment and had broken ethical conduct rules.
In addition, wide receiver Greg Little and defensive end Robert Quinn were both suspended for the 2010 football season for agent benefits and lying during NCAA interviews.
All of these violations only scratch the surface. There were 14 players that missed games during the 2010 football season, eight of which missed the entire season.
There is still much to be uncovered in the NCAA investigation, but it is clear that North Carolina has not put themselves in a good situation.
Don't be surprised to see the NCAA drop the hammer on North Carolina in the near future.
The Auburn University Tigers
The saga for Auburn University all began when allegations came out saying that Kenny Rodgers, a former player from Mississippi state and Newton's self-proclaimed agent, had requested $180,000 in exchange for Cameron Newton's signature on his national letter of intent.
However, the NCAA ruled in favor of Newton and Auburn because they were unable to prove that he had direct knowledge of what was going on.
But the Cam Newton scandal was only the beginning.
Auburn is also being investigated for possible violations in the recruiting of Trovon Reed and Greg Robinson and for potentially illegal recruiting strategies in the form of Gene Chizik’s “Tiger Prowl.” Not only that, but the NCAA will also likely be receiving testimonies from former players, who may provide evidence of further violations.
As the NCAA continues to look into many of these allegations, it's safe to say that more information will come to the surface, leaving Auburn in some hot water.
The Ohio State Buckeyes
First the tattoos. Then the coach. Then the cars. Now the sanctions?
Back in December of 2010 the NCAA ruled that five Ohio State football players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were to be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 football season for exchanging autographs for tattoos.
However, these five players were ruled eligible for their Sugar Bowl matchup against Arkansas which was an indication to most that the worst had already passed.
But as the 2011 season began to come closer, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel became the center of controversy. As the facts developed, it became clear that Tressel knew about his players taking illegal benefits which eventually led to his resignation.
Not long after Tressel stepped down as head coach, more controversy began to swirl around Ohio State. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was photographed driving to the first team meeting after Tressel resigned in a 2007 Nissan 350z (valued around $20,000) with temporary plates.
There has been ongoing speculation that Pryor may have also had multiple vehicles loaned to him as a special treatment for his student athlete status.
The NCAA and Ohio State could be investigating as many as 50 "vehicle purchases" from student athletes and their families.
With all the dirt that has turned up within the last few weeks alone, we could see the NCAA impose a penalty on Ohio State sooner rather than later.
The University of Oregon Ducks
Rumors and facts are starting to surface for potential violations against the University of Oregon.
The NCAA is currently investigating Oregon's recruiting tactics, specifically in recruiting redshirt freshman, Lache Seastrunk.
In 2010 Oregon supplied Willie Lyles with $25,000 for his recruiting services. The payment was given to Lyle's only a short time after Seastrunk committed to Oregon, which caused many people to speculate that the payment may have been to reward Lyles for Seastrunk's commitment rather than for his "recruiting services."
The NCAA is also investigating Lyle's connection to 2010 Heisman Trophy finalist, LaMichael James and Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas.
This investigation really only began this March, so it's tough to say just how far the rabbit hole goes, but it is definitely possible that Oregon could face significant penalties from the NCAA.
The University of Southern California Trojans
In the midst of some of the most severe penalties a football program has seen, USC may be penalized even more.
What's worse for the Trojans is that the alleged violations didn't even occur at USC. Instead, head football coach, Lane Kiffin is being investigated for violations that allegedly occurred at the University of Tennessee.
Kiffin is being accused of making inappropriate phone calls to potential recruits in 2009 during "All-Star games" when it is illegal to communicate with recruits.
In addition to the illegal phone calls, Kiffin is also under investigation for allowing recruiting intern, Steve Rubio, to make contacts with administrators at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida. This allegedly occurred after the Tennessee athletic director explicitly told Kiffin that the trip was against NCAA rules.
The allegations if ruled accurate by the NCAA could potentially take recruiting privileges away from arguably one of the best recruiters in the nation.
Right as USC began to utter "at least it can't get any worse," they are finding out that it just might.