Texas Southern placed on probation through 2017 for violations


SWAC member Texas Southern has received multiple penalties for what the NCAA determined a lack of institutional control, including probation through 2017.

According to an NCAA.org article, citing a decision announced by the Division I Committee on Infractions, Texas Southern also was responsible for booster involvement in recruiting, academic improprieties, ineligible student-athlete participation and exceeding scholarship limits. The committee also determined former head men’s basketball coach Tony Harvey and former football coach Johnnie Cole did not promote an atmosphere for compliance.

Cole was fired after the 2010 season in which Texas Southern won the SWAC championship, and Harvey stepped down in July. Former Indiana and Alabama-Birmingham coach Mike Davis now leads the men’s basketball team.

Texas Southern, which already was handed a postseason ban in football for this season for a low Academic Progress Rate, now has that penalty extended through the 2014 season and will miss the postseason in men’s basketball this school year.

The school’s probation began Tuesday. Other notable penalties include: three-year show-cause orders for Harvey and Cole; limits of no more than 65 overall counters, 25 initial counters (five fewer than the maximum) and 60 equivalency scholarships (three fewer than the Football Championship Subdivision maximum) in football for four academic years; a limit of 11 men’s basketball scholarships for three academic years; a restriction of football opponents to FCS member schools; vacation of all team records for the 2006-07 through 2009-10 academic years in all sports and for 2010-11 in football and women’s soccer (self-imposed); and a limit of 30 official paid visits for football and nine for men’s basketball this academic year.

Texas Southern is considered a “double repeat violator” because it “either has been on probation or had violations occurring on campus, or both, for 16 of the past 20 years,” the NCAA said. “At various times during the earlier probation periods, the university reported to the committee it was taking certain remedial actions when it actually was not, which was of particular concern to the committee.”

The NCAA also noted these violations by Texas Southern:

• The school allowed 129 student-athletes in 13 sports during seven academic years to compete and receive financial aid and travel expenses when they were ineligible, adding a majority of the student-athletes had not met progress toward degree or transfer requirements;

• The men’s basketball team also failed to serve its academic performance program penalty from 2009-10, when it was required to limit scholarships and restrict its athletically-related activity to five days a week;

• Cole and three of his assistants were aware that a booster contacted potential transfers and their parents, as found by the committee, noting the staff failed to dissuade the booster from such contacts;

• Cole and Harvey arranged to put two basketball players on football scholarships to circumvent scholarship limits;

• Texas Southern exceeded financial aid limits from the 2008-09 to the 2010-11 academic years;

• Harvey knowingly provided false or misleading information concerning improper scholarships to two of his players; and

• The school insufficiently investigated academic issues that involved 24 student-athletes and allowed 12 of them to receive unearned academic credit while failing to notify the NCAA.

The men’s basketball postseason ban leaves the SWAC with seven eligible teams for its 2013 conference tournament. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State also are ineligible because of low APR scores.