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Friday, February 22, 2008
NCAA committee partially overturns ruling, reinstates 8 Sooners wins

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma will have wins reinstated from the 2005 Holiday Bowl season after an NCAA appeals committee partially overturned a ruling in the infractions case involving former quarterback Rhett Bomar.

The NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee released a ruling Friday that Oklahoma should not have been found guilty of separate violations for failing to detect that football players were working at a Norman car dealership and failing to monitor those students' employment.

In overturning the violation related to detecting the players' employment, the appeals committee reinstated the Sooners' wins from their 8-4 season in 2005.

"This decision is a great thing for those individuals involved with our 2005 team," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. "Most of the players on our current roster were not on that team, but I know those victories mean a lot to the players and coaches who were here at that time."

The appeals panel partially upheld a "failure to monitor" violation imposed against Oklahoma, stating that the university didn't use established institutional procedures that would have revealed the employment of 12 players at the dealership in summer 2005.

The NCAA infractions committee previously ruled that Oklahoma failed to collect earnings statements in a timely manner that would have revealed the players' employment. As a result, three players received about $17,000 in impermissible benefits for work they did not perform at the car dealership.

Oklahoma self-imposed scholarship reductions and took assistant coaches off the recruiting trail as sanctions for the violations that involved Bomar and former offensive lineman J.D. Quinn. Both players were also kicked off the team, with Bomar transferring to Sam Houston State and Quinn to Montana. The program disassociated itself with Brad McRae, the former manager of the car dealership.

However, the school objected to the NCAA erasing its wins from the season when the players were on the team, claiming that it was unfair to punish teammates who didn't break the rules. Oklahoma also argued that the violations wouldn't have been detected without the school's own investigation.

"While we are pleased with the findings by the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee, we are most pleased for the 100 student athletes and coaches who played by the rules and worked their hearts out for a successful 2005 season," university president David Boren said in the statement.

The NCAA said in its news release that the "the university's cooperation was a significant factor in the ultimate determination of the violations," but the infractions committee did not acknowledge that in its decision.

"We fully appreciate and respect the process required in these matters," Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said in the statement. "We are pleased that the NCAA recognized the university's approach in taking immediate and significant action upon our discovery of the violations and of the work and cooperation of the University of Oklahoma in the ultimate detection of the violations."

Oklahoma spokesman Kenny Mossman said Castiglione would not comment further on the report.