NCAA Investigation Facts

A Q&A report on the NCAA's investigation of the Colorado football program.

The NCAA made public its findings of an investigation into CU's football program. The NCAA was looking at 55 alleged rules violations mainly between 1996 and 1999, most falling under the clock of a former coaching staff.

There are a lot of questions out there, so we've tried to address many of those to both inform and assure all those who care about the program about the facts.

Q: In a nutshell, what are the penalties for CU?

A: There were five additional penalties imposed on the CU football program in addition to what the school self-imposed. These include:

1) The University of Colorado, Boulder, shall be publicly reprimanded and censured;

2) The university shall be placed on two years of probation, commencing October 8, 2002 (through Oct. 7, 2004);

3) The shall reduce the permissible limit of 25 initial grants in the sport of football to 20 for either the 2003-04 or the 2004-05 academic year;

4) In addition to the self-imposed limit of 51 in the number of expense paid visits to the institution's campus during the 2002-03 academic year, the university shall likewise be limited to 51 expense paid visits for 2003-04;

5) The number of football coaches permitted to recruit off campus at any one time shall be reduced by one from the number allowed under NCAA bylaws, beginning Oct. 8, 2002 through July 31, 2003.

Q: Can Colorado still participate in the postseason?

A. Yes. If it qualifies, CU can play in both the Big 12 Championship game and a bowl game, be it a BCS or any other.

Q: Can Colorado still be televised?

A. Yes. The sanctions included no restrictions on the Buffs being televised.

Q: Can Colorado still be ranked in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll?

A: Yes. The three schools that are not eligible this year, Alabama, California and Kentucky, were all cited for major infractions. AFCA bylaws state that teams are not eligible for the coaches poll if there is:

a) a ban on television;

b) a ban on postseason participation;

and c) a reduction of 20 percent or more of overall scholarships.

Q: So how many players can CU have on scholarship?

A: The maximum of 85 is unaffected; however, we can not award more than 20 to the incoming freshman class of the academic year eventually selected by the coaching staff to comply with the imposed sanction, be it 2003-04 or 2004-05. The way the numbers presently work, we likely could only award in the neighborhood of 17 or so two years from now, barring massive attrition, of course.

Q: So what did CU self-impose?

A: We lowered the number of visits to 51 last year, and took a coach off the road in the May evaluation period. As assistant coach had to pay his own way to an NCAA Compliance Seminar last spring, and others were required to attend. The university also placed itself on probation for one year.

Q: So how many visits does CU lose if they can only have the 51?

A: Schools are allowed 56 per year, with the option to "bank" up to six visits for the following year. In essence, our total has been reduced by five, which we voluntarily did this past football recruiting period.

Q: How many coaches can thus be on the road recruiting?

A: The permissible number is seven (it used to be nine a few years ago, and schools adjusted). Colorado will thus have no more than six coaches out on the road at any one time.

Q: What was CU's reaction?

A: As athletic director Dick Tharp opened the press conference with, "This is not a banner day for the University of Colorado." Tharp went on to say, "We've been placed on two years probation by the NCAA, we've been censured and reprimanded by the NCAA. Those are not good things to happen to the program. We regret the fact that there was a series of secondary violations they felt were so systemic that it constituted a major violation. But I am pleased that there was finding of the fact that there was not an instance of a lack of institutional control, and that the NCAA recognized that (two violations) really fell more under the scope of failure to monitor. In reality, this was about the best that we could have hoped for, and it's time to move forward."

Q: Where can I find out the particulars?

A: The NCAA's release is posted on its website ( At the end of the release, there are some attachments with more information.

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