NCAA Faults Oklahoma in Investigation

Monday, February 12th 2007, 6:36 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ The NCAA alleges Oklahoma failed to adequately monitor the employment of several athletes, including some football players who worked during the academic year.

The NCAA's findings came in an investigation after Oklahoma self-reported violations and dismissed starting quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn in August for taking excess pay from a Norman car dealership where they worked.

Oklahoma disclosed Monday that it had received its notice of allegations from the NCAA and is scheduled to appear before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions on April 14 in Indianapolis.

The NCAA asked athletic director Joe Castiglione and football coach Bob Stoops to attend the meeting, along with compliance officials, general counsel Joseph Harroz and director of football operations Merv Johnson.

Oklahoma also appeared before the committee last April following an investigation into hundreds of improper recruiting phone calls by former basketball coach Kelvin Sampson's staff.

``We are eager to move forward toward the conclusion of this matter,'' Castiglione said in a statement.

In its notice, the NCAA claims Oklahoma didn't follow its own guidelines when it ``did not collect gross earning statements for the 12 football student-athletes who notified the institution of their employment at Big Red during the 2005 summer vacation period ... and as a result the institution did not detect the violations'' it self-reported.

Oklahoma claims it did not detect the football players' employment because the players did not complete required forms. The university also claims it was transitioning duties at a time when the NCAA alleges that Oklahoma failed to collect some of its monitoring forms in a timely manner.

The NCAA points out that the failure to monitor occurred ``despite receiving information that at least one student-athlete worked at Big Red during the academic year.''

``From our perspective, any allegation related to our monitoring activities, no matter how limited, is not warranted,'' Castiglione said in the statement. ``The NCAA does not appear to be contesting the speed of our response or the action that we took.

``I think any school would agree that monitoring practices can always be improved, and we constantly seek to improve our practices, but we also recognize that it was our staff that originally uncovered and reported the violations that had occurred. Upon completing our investigation, the university took action above and beyond what was required under the NCAA rules.''

Bomar and Quinn were both dismissed from the program and transferred to Division I-AA schools _ Bomar to Sam Houston State and Quinn to Montana. Bomar was ordered to pay back more than $7,400 in extra benefits to charity, while Quinn was told to pay back more than $8,100.

Oklahoma has also banned athletes from working at the Norman car dealership where Bomar and Quinn were employed until at least the 2008-09 academic year and has moved to prevent the athletes' supervisor at the dealership from being involved with the university's athletics program. The dealership is now under new ownership.

Oklahoma also will reduce the number of football coaches who are allowed to recruit off campus this fall.

Stoops has said the players ``knowingly'' broke the rules.