Tulane University's board of administrators voted unanimously yesterday to end the 72-year-old basketball program because of charges involving fixed games, drugs and illegal payments to players.
Players and other students are alleged to have been involved in a point-shaving gambling scheme to rig at least two games in February.
"I'm saddened and disappointed by the events that have taken place and the necessity for taking this action," said Tulane President Eamon Kelly, who had recommended the abolition of the men's basketball program.
Board Chairman Boatner Riley said the administrators felt that "under the circumstances, Dr. Kelly took exactly the appropriate action" with his recommendation, which earlier this week was overwhelmingly approved by the school's Senate.
John Williams and other players on Tulane's basketball team received payments from alumni totaling bout $700 during a three-month period, Sports Illustrated said in this week's issue. Williams is one of five Tulane players accused of involvement in fixing games.
SI's information about the alleged illegal payments came from a source who was not identified in the story. SI did not name the other players.
The magazine also quoted one of Tulane's major financial backers, W. Kent McWilliams, as saying former basketball coach Ned Fowler confided to him that he dipped into to his own pocket for more payment money.
The magazine also examined Williams' Scholastic Aptitute Tests. SI's sources indicated that Williams scored close to the 200 minimum on the verbal portion of the test and about 270 on the math.