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I’m Innocent, Switzer Says of NCAA Findings

Associated Press

Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, who sports three national championship rings, says he won them fair and square.

“I feel comfortable in saying and knowing that I have never asked any of my coaches to go out and offer any inducement to any athlete we have ever recruited,” Switzer said in response to severe NCAA sanctions levied against the Sooners on Monday.

“Until this investigation came about, I was not aware and did not know that these existed.”

The NCAA placed Oklahoma on three years’ probation. The sanctions call for no bowl games after the 1989 and 1990 seasons, no live televised games next season and reductions in the number of recruits who can sign with the Sooners from 25 to 18 in each of the next two years.

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The NCAA found 20 recruiting violations during the last eight years and said, “The university has failed to exercise appropriate institutional control over its intercollegiate football program.”

One former Sooner, Philadelphia Eagles rookie tight end Keith Jackson, said today he received money from alumni, adding that Switzer was not aware of it.

“I went out and got my own (money) from the alumni,” Jackson said in an interview on the CBS news show “This Morning.” “Barry Switzer had no idea what I was doing, and he has no idea what most of the people at the school are doing, but he has to suffer for it once they get caught.”

David Swank, the university’s interim president, said the penalties are “more severe when one considers the financial aspect.” Swank said the athletic department, which derives 97% of its revenue from football, stands to lose between $750,000 and $1 million in each of the next two years.

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