Top 5 NCAA Punishments- With the Todd Gurley Ruling coming down today.

1. In 1991, the University of Michigan brought in arguably the most heralded recruiting class in NCAA basketball history. The incoming freshmen included Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. They earned themselves the moniker of the ‘Fab Five’ as the team made it to the NCAA championship game in both their freshman and sophomore seasons.

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A 1996 automobile accident during a high school seniors recruiting trip to the school, revealed a curious relationship between booster Ed Martin and the basketball program. A federal investigation soon revealed that for years Martin had been making payments to players to help him launder money from an illegal gambling operation. It wasn’t long before players were being called before a grand jury and the NCAA got involved.

Four players – Webber, Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor, and Louis Bullock – were found to have taken a total of over $600,000 from Martin. The fallout then came swift and severe. In 1997, coach Steve Fisher was forced out and Michigan decided to impose its own punishment by vacating five seasons of victories, including all NCAA tournament records from 1992-99. Michigan also removed all commemorative banners from those seasons, and put the program on probation for two years. In the official record books, the Fab Five might as well have never existed.

2. From the beginning of the 1993-94 season until the end of the 1998-99 season, the Minnesota basketball team won exactly … zero games. The Gophers had to forfeit all victories during that span due to major violations that in turn resulted in major sanctions.

Jan Gengelhoff, the manager of the school’s academic counseling services admitted to doing over 400 homework assignments for numerous basketball players. The news came out just one day before the 1999 NCAA Tournament and resulted in four players being suspended for their first-round game. Coach Clem Haskins was forced to resign and it was later revealed that he paid Gangelhoff to write papers for the players. The program was put on four years’ probation and was stripped of all wins and conference titles from 1993-94 to 1998-99.
3. Barry Switzer coached the Sooners for 16 seasons, winning three national championships. But his run came to an end during the summer of 1989 when he resigned following a myriad of scandals that plagued his team. During a one-month span in early 1989, three players were arraigned on rape charges, one player was shot by another, and OU’s quarterback was caught selling cocaine to an undercover FBI agent. And that all happened after the NCAA placed the football team on three years’ probation for “major violations,” including supplying players with airline tickets and offering gifts to recruits.
Oklahoma was lucky to avoid the death penalty. Switzer resigned on June 19, 1989.
4. In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, Miami was the most successful football programs in the nation. After the 1994 season, the ‘Canes received a one-year bowl ban and a loss of 31 scholarships. They were nailed for a huge financial-aid policy scam, improper implementation of the drug testing program and the NCAA also deemed that the university had lost institutional control. A total of 57 players were given excess financial aid, which the feds called, “perhaps the largest centralized fraud upon the federal Pell Grant program ever committed.” Three players were permitted to play after testing positive for illegal substances.

– Players were paid for not only touchdowns but also vicious hits.
– Players were invited to drink with coaches.
– They even smoked marijuana with a secretary in the football office.
– Recruits were invited to clubs where alcohol and drugs were provided.

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To sum it up, in 1994 when The U beat Texas 46-3 in the Cotton Bowl the Hurricanes committed a Cotton Bowl-record 16 penalties, including 10 personal fouls. That was the program.

5. Reggie Bush earned himself praise as a phenom and helped the Trojans’ dynastic run. While there, he helped the team win consecutive AP national championships while also earning the 2005 Heisman Trophy. Talk of violations involving Bush surfaced just before the 2006 NFL Draft, prompting an investigation. Despite the fact that Bush denied any improprieties, it wasn’t long before a series of allegations began to come out. In 2007, sports agent Lloyd Lake sued Bush and his family for not repaying him close to $300,000 in gifts, and soon decided to offer his cooperation with the NCAA’s investigation. The NCAA announced major sanctions against USC after finding the school lacking institutional control. As a result, USC was placed on four years of probation, its football team received a two-year postseason ban, with a reduction of a jaw-dropping 30 scholarships over the next three years, and has been forced to vacate 13 victories from 2004-05.

Honorable Mention

The Memphis Tigers’ 2008 basketball team was just a few missed foul shots from having its first NCAA championship in history. But Memphis lost to Kansas in overtime, meaning the NCAA only vacated Memphis’ NCAA-record 38 wins and trip to the championship game from 2008, among other punishments.

Memphis was sanctioned due to a series of violations, the most egregious of which being that its freshman star point guard, Derrick Rose, was retroactively ruled ineligible to play because of an allegedly fraudulent SAT score. The NCAA believed that Rose knowingly let another person take his SAT, thus making him academically ineligible. Memphis also was charged with providing Rose’s brother with under $2,000 in travel expenses. In addition to vacating the wins and removing the banners from the season’s accomplishments, the Tigers also had to return their $615,000 in revenue from the NCAA Tournament.

Of course this is not the first time a John Calipari coached team has been in hot water. His 1996 UMass team was also forced to vacate its wins from a Final Four run after star center Marcus Camby was ruled ineligible for receiving money from an agent while still in school.

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