AUSTIN, TEX., JUNE 17 -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association put the University of Texas football program on two years' probation today for violating recruiting and ticket rules, but the school will not be subject to the NCAA's so-called "death penalty" for repeat offenders if it errs again within five years.
The school's football team was not barred from bowl games and will be able to play games that are telecast during the probation.
Moreover, the probation will be cut to a year if the school undertakes 13 actions that the NCAA suggested.
The university is the fourth Southwest Conference school on NCAA probation. Southern Methodist, Texas Christian and Texas Tech already were being disciplined. The NCAA is investigating two more SWC members, Texas A&M and Houston, for possible violations.
Under the NCAA sanctions, Texas will be allowed only 20 football scholarships instead of 25 for the 1988-89 season, and only 75 prospective athletes will be allowed to visit the campus, down from 95.
However, Charles Smart, the NCAA's assistant director of enforcement, said from his Mission, Kan., office that the university will not be subject to the "death penalty" for major repeat offenders such as SMU.
The repeat offender penalty last February led to SMU dropping football for two years.
Smart said the Texas case was classified as "serious, not major."
The 13 recommendations that, if adopted, can cut the school's probation to a year include firing staff members who knowingly violate NCAA rules, adopting a rules education program for staff members, dismissing from the team students who violate NCAA rules and warning alumni to comply with NCAA rules.
"I feel the committee heard all of the evidence and treated us fairly," Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said. "This marks the end of an investigation in which our football program has undergone scrutiny as intensive as any university has ever faced.
"Now it is time to get on with the business of working with our new football leadership to reestablish our program in a first-class way in all areas."