For as long as there have been sports, there has been cheating. When it comes to college athletics and the NCAA, most of the cheating scandals occur off the field, but nevertheless have gone down in history as momentous college sports scandals.
Because college sports is a multi-million dollar, non-profit, amateur organization, there are very strict rules about what constitutes cheating. What makes for college sports cheating scandals? Players accepting money of any kids is a college sports cheating scandal. Football players receiving gifts of any kind for playing are considered college football cheating scandals. Undermining academic integrity is a college sports scandal as well.
Many top colleges have been caught in cheating scandals. The SMU football team was given "the death penalty" for illegal recruiting tactics. The University of Miami was placed on probation for forging Pell Grant applications. 37 players at the United States Military Academy were expelled for academic cheating. And these examples of cheating in college athletics barely scratch the surface.Vote up the controversies below that you think are the biggest college cheating scandals of all time. If there's one thing this list will prove is that you never want to get on the NCAA's bad side.
SMU Gets the Death Penalty
In the 1980s, Southern Methodist University illegally paid several of its players. In 1987 the NCAA issued the "death penalty," which prohibited the school from fielding a team in 1987 and 1988. The school has yet to recover, and what was once a powerhouse college football team now has been relegated to mid-major status.
18 Years of Cheating at UNC
From 1993 to 2011 the University of North Carolina helped 3,100 students get good grades with little work. Hundreds of classes required little work or had no faculty involvement and many of the students involved were student-athletes. The NCAA's investigation is still underway and any punishment is yet to be seen.
The 1989 Oklahoma Sooners Cocaine Scandal
In 1989 University of Oklahoma Sooners head coach Barry Switzer was caught offering illegal cars and money to players. Things only got worse for the school when the subsequent investigation saw quarterback Charles Thompson sell cocaine to an undercover FBI agent and resulted in three players being charged with first-degree rape. The Sooners were punished by the NCAA in the form of a two season postseason and television ban, as well as a reduction in scholarships.
The University of Miami Defrauds the Federal Government
From 1989 to 1991 the University of Miami assisted athletes by forging applications for federal Pell Grant money, receiving approximately $220,000 in funds. It was considered at the time to be the greatest fraud committed against the Pell Grant system in history. The NCAA issued a one year ban on post-season play and stripped Miami of 31 scholarships from 1996 through 1999.