An independent outside investigation will be conducted into a published report that University of Houston football Coach Bill Yeoman and his assistants illicitly gave thousands of dollars to players, Athletic Director Tom Ford said.

Ford also said that the school's Intercollegiate Athletic Council would be convened to consider the allegations, which appeared during the weekend in copyrighted stories in The Houston Post.

The Post said Saturday that star wide receivers David Roberson and Lonell Phea, who played in the late 1970s and early 1980s, signed affidavits stating that they received more than $26,000 between them over a four-year period.

The Post said six others who played in the early 1980s confirmed reports of cash disbursements to players.

Yeoman declined to comment and referred all questions to Ford.

On Sunday, The Post reported that Roberson was allowed to remain in school and play football even though he was placed on academic suspension for five of his nine semesters at the university.

The Post quoted Phea as saying that top athletes regularly enrolled in only nine hours per semester, fewer than the minimum required for status as a full-time student, and that he and other athletes were encouraged to take less demanding classes.

There is a four-year statute of limitations for the NCAA to punish a school for violations.