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OU Infractions, a Third Player and the Grassy Knoll

By now you are aware that the NCAA notified the University of Oklahoma yesterday of the allegations against them. OU has until March 8th to submit a response to the infractions committee and must appear for a hearing with the committee on April 14th in Indianapolis.

It was also released that a third player has been named in the "scandal." The player in question was Jermaine Hardison, a walk-on receiver who was dismissed from the team in August for "unspecified" reasons. Despite the fact that this is new news to the general public and news outlets it wasn't new to OU or the NCAA. Hardison was included in Oklahoma's report to the NCAA in August. That should put an end to the grassy knoll conspiracy theories out there, but I doubt it will.

OU Rule violations
Allegations of rules violations detailed in the official notice of allegations from the NCAA to OU:
*Quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn were paid $7,406.88 and $8,137.17, respectively, for work they did not perform at Big Red Sports and Imports. Walk-on receiver Jermaine Hardison was also overpaid, though the amount was redacted from the official notice.
*Failure to "adequately monitor the employment of football student-athletes at Big Red Sports and Imports" from Feb. 2005-March 2006.

The only discrepancy between OU and the NCAA over this issue is that the NCAA says that OU failed to adequately monitor the player's employment. Even though Joe Castiglione disagrees with this allegation it should also be noted that it is a "more limited allegation" than the "failure to monitor" OU received for the basketball program last year. In that case the NCAA ruled that OU's self-imposed penalties were enough and added very little to the punishment.
OU's Self-Imposed Penalties
 *Quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn were permanently dismissed from the football program.
*OU did not re-award the two scholarships, which would have been available. In effect, this amounted to a reduction of scholarships.
*OU will reduce by one the number of football coaches allowed to recruit off-campus during the 2007 fall evaluation period.
*OU prohibited athletes from working at Big Red through at least the 2008-09 school year.
*OU disassociated a booster from the program for at least five years. Although the school's release did not name former Big Red general manager Brad McRae, he was Bomar's and Quinn's supervisor.

OU immediately dismissed the players involved, something that wasn't necessary by the NCAA, they are also the ones who notified the NCAA about the infractions, including Jermaine Hardison.

Despite the conspiracy theories about the media putting a favorable spin on all this it simply is what it is. OU had some rouge players, found out about them and dealt with the situation on their own power. Even though it kills those living south of the boarder and those residing 80 something miles north of Norman who love to view OU in a not so favorable light Castiglione said that there were no surprises in the report on Monday. OU heard what they expected to hear as will be the case April 14th.