SMU Tries to Avoid 'Death Penalty'

In a tacit admission that additional NCAA violations occurred within the football program, Southern Methodist University's interim president said Wednesday that the university will ask that it be allowed to levy its own "severe sanctions" instead of becoming the first to face the so-called "death penalty."

In a statement issued Wednesday before departing for Coronado, Calif., where he will appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions Friday, William Stallcup also said that the school will neither appeal nor contest any rulings or findings by the panel.

The school was called before the committee after allegations surfaced that it had paid a football player after its program was put on probation in August, 1985, for NCAA violations. According to NCAA rules, the school could be forced to suspend its football program for two years. The NCAA's decision will be announced within 10 days of the hearing.

SMU, which has been on probation four times in the last 11 years and six times since 1958, did not participate Wednesday in national signing day. A statement issued by Dudley Parker, acting athletic director, said that no scholarships would be issued until a new coach is appointed.

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