AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn's football program was placed on probation for two years by the NCAA today for a pay-for-play scandal that former player Eric Ramsey disclosed with secretly recorded tapes two years ago.
The NCAA also banned the Tigers from postseason play or conference championships, as well as from playing on television, either live or in a delayed broadcast, for one year.
Auburn was given the option of delaying the TV ban for one year. The Tigers are scheduled to open the season Sept. 2 on ESPN against Mississippi.
The NCAA violations, which occurred during the era of former coach Pat Dye, also brought the Tigers a loss of athletic scholarships.
Initial grants-in-aid will drop from 25 to 24 each year during the period 1993-96. Also, the annual limit for grants-in-aid will drop from 88 to 86 for 1993-1994, and from 85 to 83 for 1994-95 and 1995-96.
The fallout from the Ramsey tapes began last year, with Dye forced to resign first as athletic director and then as head football coach after the team's final game on Thanksgiving Day.
The NCAA found Auburn committed six major rules violations. Three involved giving cash payments to a student-athlete, including bonuses for game performances. A fourth cited Dye's program for a lack of proper institutional control. The others - both new to the case - cited Auburn for allowing athletes to play without meeting all eligibility requirements, and for exceeding the number of
permissible grants-in-aid during 1988-89 and 1990-91.