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Athletics awaits NCAA decision

June 4, 2004

In late February, Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. announced additional major and secondary NCAA infractions in the men's basketball program. An NCAA ruling on the report submitted by Baylor's internal investigative committee is expected this fall.

Sloan said upon announcing the additional infractions that the University would take self-regulating, corrective actions and sanctions to "ensure that the deplorable conduct that occurred within the men's basketball program is never repeated." He added, "There were red flags that should have been noticed."

The sanctions include reducing contacts by recruiters and coaches and extending the probationary period through Aug. 8, 2006. Most severe is the loss of nine scholarship players through 2006. "I'd be hard-pressed to find that kind of sanction anywhere else," said committee member and Baylor Law School professor Bill Underwood.

Other infractions involved improper payment of tuition and fees of $336 and improper payments to student athletes or prospective student athletes for transportation, meals, lodging and apparel -- an aggregate sum of about $40,000, committee officials said, all made by former coach Dave Bliss from his personal finances.

In addition, Bliss violated NCAA rules by soliciting two members of the University's Board of Regents for charitable contributions to a 501(3)(c) organization that sponsored Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams, which included prospective student athletes. The contributions amounted to at least $87,000 and involved at least 17 people, Sloan said.

Baylor named a task force chaired by Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association and former Baylor head football coach, to consider standards for the recruitment of student athletes and for the hiring of coaches. Sloan noted that Baylor has had two significant men's basketball scandals in the past 10 years -- both involving the recruitment of student athletes ill-equipped to meet academic standards at the University. The task force's report was due June 1 (check the Baylor Web site for latest information).

Members of Baylor's investigative committee are Underwood, Baylor Law School professors Mike Rogers and David Guinn and Kirk Watson, Baylor Law School alumnus and outside consultant.

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