Southern Methodist University football Coach Bobby Collins said today the school will appeal an NCAA penalty that reportedly will bar football scholarships next year and ban the Mustangs from bowls and television appearances for two years each.
Collins said school officials would reserve comment until after an appeal is presented to the NCAA Council Wednesday. "And the NCAA hasn't said our appeal won't be heard. So it would be premature to say anything until then," said Collins.
The Dallas Times Herald reported today that the penalties were assessed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions. The newspaper reported that SMU officials plan to challenge the decision in court on grounds that the school has been discriminated against.
The penalties followed a 26-month investigation that focused on the role of Mustangs boosters and allegations that recruits were offered cash, cars and jobs for their relatives.
The NCAA has told SMU it will not be allowed to offer athletic scholarships for recruiting in the 1986-87 academic year and will be allowed only 15 for 1987-88, according to the newspaper. Schools normally get to award 30 scholarships per year, with up to 95 players on scholarship at any one time. The newspaper said it was the first time the NCAA has stripped a school of all its football scholarships.
The report said the Mustangs also will be banned from bowl games following the 1985 and 1986 seasons and from television in 1986 and 1987.