Oklahoma State Given 4-Year Probation

Associated Press

The NCAA today placed Oklahoma State’s football program on four years’ probation, barring the Cowboys from postseason play for three years and keeping them off live television for two years.

The Cowboys, coming off a season in which they finished 11th nationally and had their first Heisman Trophy winner in tailback Barry Sanders, also will be limited in the number of paid recruiting visits they can offer in 1989-90 and 1990-91.

The NCAA’s committee on infractions found that the sanctions, viewed in conjunction with non-compliance in the last 15 years, warranted the elimination of three conference home games and a limit of eight total games in 1989. The committee said however, that it would not apply that penalty because of the cooperation by Oklahoma State’s current administration and coaching staff.

The committee, citing more than 40 rules violations, also limited to 20 the number of scholarships Oklahoma State can offer in the next three academic years.


“The list of allegations presented to us can only be described as long and embarrassing to this fine and long-respected university,” Oklahoma State President John R. Campbell said in remarks released at a news conference.

“I have full confidence that my staff and I can administer this program in full and utmost compliance with NCAA and Big Eight rules and regulations,” Coach Pat Jones said at the news conference.

The violations primarily involved former members of Oklahoma State’s assistant coaching staff, a former athletic department administrative assistant and at least 14 boosters.

The probation was announced three weeks after the NCAA hit the University of Oklahoma with three years’ probation.

David Berst, the NCAA’s enforcement director, said the penalties levied against Oklahoma State are the most severe since the NCAA lowered the so-called death penalty on Southern Methodist University in 1987.