OXFORD, Miss. - NCAA sanctions levied yesterday against the University of Mississippi football program might cripple it for years.
The NCAA infractions committee found Mississippi guilty of 15 violations. They ranged from a lack of institutional control to offers of cash, plane tickets and cars to prospects by staff members and boosters.
Because Mississippi was penalized for similar acts in 1986, the NCAA showed no leniency, said David Swank, University of Oklahoma law professor and chairman of the committee on infractions.
"This is one of the most serious cases we've had since I've been a member of the committee," said Swank, in his fourth year as infractions committee chairman.
The committee placed Mississippi on probation for four years, banned it from postseason play for two years, banned it from playing in televised games for one year, and slashed the number of new players Mississippi can put on scholarship the next two years from 25 to 13 per year.
The scholarship reduction was the most severe levied against a Division I-A school since Southern Methodist University was barred from offering any scholarships or fielding a team in 1987 and '88.
The committee also found former football coach Billy Brewer guilty of unethical conduct, a charge not contained in the original letter of inquiry. The committee imposed a penalty that all but bars Brewer from another NCAA coaching job for four years.
Brewer's attorney said he would continue with plans for a lawsuit against Ole Miss seeking compensation for the final three years of Brewer's contract.
-- Dana Howard of Illinois, Ted Johnson of Colorado and Ed Stewart of Nebraska are finalists for the Butkus Award presented to the nation's best linebacker.
-- Wisconsin tailback Brent Moss, the MVP in the 1994 Rose Bowl game, pleaded guilty in Madison, Wis., to a charge of misdemeanor possession of cocaine and was placed on two years of probation.
Moss, 22, and an aquaintance were fined $250 each and were told they could work it off in community service at a rate of $10 per hour.