An academic misconduct violation has caused the University of Houston football program to self-impose a one-year probation and vacate three of its eight wins from 2018.
The Cougars’ penalties are the result of violations committed by a former tutor, the NCAA said Wednesday when announcing the Level II violation.
The NCAA reported that the athletic department tutor wrote four papers for two football players, who eventually served suspensions, in exchange for $205 over the course of a month and a half, according to the Houston Chronicle. One of the student-athletes competed while ineligible, leading to the Cougars vacating three games to drop their official 2018 record to 5-8. Former head coach Major Applewhite was fired after the 2018 season, compiling a 12-14 record in two-plus years.
The Division I Committee on Infractions said that the tutor “acted out of self-interest” and refused to be interviewed about the infraction.
The tutor got an eight-year show-cause order and won’t be able to be employed by NCAA schools in an athletic-related capacity unless the school can show cause that the restrictions shouldn’t apply.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the football team’s one-year probation doesn’t include a postseason bay. The program also self-imposed a $5,000 fine.
Wednesday’s NCAA release also announced that Houston’s volleyball program had committed a Level II penalty for violating practice limits under former coach Kaddie Platt. The release said that volleyball players were required to participate in summer camps and pre-practice activities that exceeded the NCAA’s maximum of required practice hours.
Platt received a two-year show-cause order, while the NCAA stated she “did not promote an atmosphere of compliance within her program.” If she is employed in the next two years, she must be suspended for 30 percent of contests during her first season on the job.
The NCAA commended Houston for its work in self-reporting the violations committed within the football and volleyball programs.
“The panel applauds Houston’s efforts in this case,” the report said. “Houston discovered and reported all violations. It then self-imposed meaningful and intentional penalties and corrective measures.”
“Today’s report is the result of a cooperative investigation by the NCAA’s enforcement staff and the University of Houston,” Houston athletic director Chris Pezman said in a statement. “The NCAA Level II Mitigated violations that occurred with Houston’s football and volleyball programs were self-disclosed to UH officials, who followed internal protocols and worked thoroughly with the NCAA throughout this process.
“As the report states, the violations occurred while the University of Houston exercised institutional control and monitored its athletics programs. It also indicates that UH accepted the responsibility of the violations and self-imposed significant measures and penalties as corrective action. UH also worked diligently to provide the NCAA enforcement staff with various resources and assistance to make sure this matter was brought to a resolution as quickly as possible.”