Central Oklahoma self-imposes probation, scholarship reductions
EDMOND, Okla. -- An NCAA investigation into allegations that Central Oklahoma paid athletes to attend remedial classes at another school and provided various extra benefits has led the university to self-impose a three-year probation, forfeit scholarships and limit recruiting.
The NCAA says Division II Central Oklahoma paid more than 80 athletes to attend remedial classes at Rose State College in Midwest City, and provided free housing, food, transportation and use of facilities to football players who were not full-time students.
"I am personally committed to the principle of institutional control and am disappointed with what occurred in our football program two years ago," university President Roger Webb said in a statement Friday. "I remain steadfast in my commitment to ensure that all employees of the University of Central Oklahoma understand and support the serious nature of NCAA compliance."
The university said it would forfeit two full football scholarships, limit the number of transfer students recruited and reduce the Bronchos' maximum number of football players from about 100 to 90 per year.
University spokesman Charlie Johnson said Saturday the actual response to the NCAA was being screened for privacy restrictions and would be released when that process was completed.
However, the statement indicated that Central Oklahoma's response to an NCAA notice of allegations "acknowledges that there were mistakes made within the football program, in particular in the area of oversight and monitoring of the program."
Central Oklahoma received an NCAA notice of inquiry in October 2006 after allegations arose of possible rules violations. Earlier this year, head coach Chuck Langston served a two-week suspension, which caused him to miss the Bronchos' season-opening upset of nationally ranked Abilene Christian (Texas).
The 34-year-old Langston, a former starting center for Oklahoma, is in his fifth season as Central Oklahoma's head coach. The Bronchos are 29-22 during his tenure but haven't had a winning season since 2004. Central Oklahoma, a member of the Lone Star Conference, is 4-4 this season with two games remaining.
The university said in August, when it announced Langston's suspension, that he also will not be allowed to conduct off-campus recruiting activities for one year.
The university also moved an additional employee into the compliance office to develop a monitoring process for recruiting and intends to develop and implement an NCAA rules education process.