The Original “Death Penalty” in College Football, SMU Mustangs

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People ask all the time, “Why does the NCAA put sanctions on football programs?” When I was young, my favorite football player was Eric Dickerson. I never understood why people criticized him about his college playing days, so I asked my dad about it. He said that Dickerson’s college was given the “Death Penalty”. The Original “Death Penalty” was put into effect at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
To better understand the original question put forth, we must first define a few key terms. The NCAA is the National Collegiate Athletics Association. The NCAA has the final ruling in all matters of conduct in college sports. In short, it controls almost every aspect of athletics in college sports. The word sanction means: to
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The NCAA Committee of Infractions passed the “Death Penalty” with a vote of 427-6. In a press conference addressing over 100 reporters, David Berst, the NCAA director of enforcement at the time, said, “The Committee on Infractions . . . demanded, as well as the mandate of the membership by the major repeat penalties, that at least the primary or the fundamental elements of the proscribed penalty be applied in this case." (McNAbb) There were many people involved with the improper payment of players at Southern Methodist University, but the biggest name was Bill Clements. Clements was the governor of Texas at the time of the scandal; he was also on the SMU board of trustees. He single handedly directed the pay-for-play scheme. Six SMU officials knew of the improper paying-Robert Stewart III, Edwin Cox Sr., Paul Corley, former Dallas Mayor Robert Folsom, Clements and Donald Shields, who resigned that year as SMU`s president. Sherwood Blount was the biggest name of all boosters of the program. Blount paid thirteen players over 61 thousand dollars from 1985 to 1986 in the form of a “slush” fund. The “slush” fund, as it was called, paid players

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