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SMU, Banned by NCAA in 1987, May Drop Limited 1988 Schedule as Well

Associated Press

Southern Methodist University, its 1987 football season already wiped out by the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., may also call off its limited 1988 schedule, school officials said Friday.

Facing the loss of up to 52 players through transfers and restricted by the NCAA penalties, SMU officials are concerned that the 1988 team would not be competitive.

“We’re not going to put a team out there unless we can really have a team,” interim athletic director Dudley Parker said. “I’m sure the administration wouldn’t want to just throw together a bunch of youngsters and send them out there if they aren’t capable of competing.”

Leroy Howe, president of the SMU faculty senate, said there have been some preliminary discussions about dropping the 1988 season. “It’s ominous to think about sending these kids out to a slaughter every week.

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“A lot of people have said we would have been better off if the NCAA had given us the gas chamber for a second year, and I think they may be right. If we play (in 1988), it would be like meeting the lions in the Roman Colosseum.”

Sanctions announced Wednesday by the NCAA canceled the 1987 season; limited the Mustangs to seven games in 1988, all on the road, and stripped SMU of any new scholarships this year and only 15 in 1988.

More than 100 football coaches Thursday shopped for talent from among the idled SMU players. The NCAA action gave 52 players the chance to transfer other schools without losing a year of eligibility.

Parker said it would be inviting a series of humiliating losses if SMU proceeds with the away-game schedule in 1988 with a team that doesn’t measure up to its Southwest Conference opponents.

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Lonnie Kliever, SMU faculty representative for athletics, said it is “not out of the question” that SMU could voluntarily drop football in 1988.


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