Texas A&M's athletic department could face major sanctions and possibly the NCAA's "death penalty" if allegations concerning the school's basketball program are proven to be true.

NCAA officials said that if a major penalty were imposed, Texas A&M could be subject to the so-called death penalty and lose its basketball program for one or two years because it comes less than five years after the football team endured a major penalty.

"Every case is different," Southwest Conference Commissioner Fred Jacoby said. "A lot of it is whether {the violation} is inadvertent, {whether} somebody did something they didn't know about. A lot of these are judgment calls.

"In this case, if these allegations are correct, it's what I call a major case."

On Thursday, Texas A&M acknowledged that NCAA rule violations occurred in its basketball program and pledged to continue an internal investigation.

The acknowledgement from Athletic Director John David Crow came after the Syracuse Post-Standard reported that New York talent scout Rob Johnson arranged for forward Tony Scott to transfer from Syracuse to Texas A&M.

The newspaper also quoted Scott as saying the university paid for part of his father's airfare and permitted Johnson to fly on its plane. The allegations, if proven, would be in violation of NCAA rules.

No school ever has had the death penalty levied because of problems in two sports. The death penalty punishment has been on the NCAA books since 1985.

Also, Texas A&M basketball coach Kermit Davis Jr. may have used a New York agent to recruit transfer players, including former Georgetown guard David Edwards, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The newspaper obtained telephone records showing almost daily phone contact for four months between Davis and an agent regarding Scott.

The telephone records also show similar contact concerning the transfer of Edwards from Georgetown to Texas A&M. . . .

Syracuse officials were mum on alleged improprieties in the school's basketball program as a newspaper questioned the recruitment of LeRon Ellis, the team's starting center, and former center George Papadakos.

In a story stemming from its seven-month investigation of the Syracuse program, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported Friday that Ellis's father, former NBA player LeRoy Ellis, received a job from a Syracuse alumnus at about the time his son LeRon decided to transfer from Kentucky to Syracuse.

And Papadakos, a 7-footer from Toronto, told the Post-Standard that he back-dated his letter of intent to attend Syracuse in 1982 and concocted a story to hide the alleged impropriety. . . .

The Division I-A Directors Association named Navy Athletic Director Jack Lengyel as its chairman, replacing Sam Jankovich, who resigned his AD job at Miami to become the chief executive officer of the New England Patriots.