HOUSTON – The University of Houston Football program will be on probation for one year starting Wednesday and will vacate three wins, among other penalties for academic and other misconduct, the NCAA announced.
The investigation began last fall when university officials learned that a now-former athletic department tutor wrote four papers for two football players in exchange for $205, the 57-page NCAA report said.
In the middle of that investigation, university officials learned that the now-former head volleyball coach forced players to exceed the maximum number of practice hours, per NCAA rules.
“[The] violations went unreported, in part, due to student-athletes’ fear of retaliation from the head coach,” the report read.
“What I can tell you is those kids came to us,” University of Houston Athletics Director Christ Pezman told KPRC 2. “That’s what flagged it for us, and that started an investigation, a cultural review (of the volleyball program).”
“The panel applauds Houston’s efforts in this case,” the report reads. “Houston discovered and reported all violations. It then self-imposed meaningful and intentional penalties and corrective measures.”
- 1 year of probation (for the football program)
- A fine of $5,000
- A vacation of three wins and records
- Volleyball practice hour reductions
- 8-year show-cause order for the tutor
- 2-year show-cause order that includes a head coach suspension for the head coach
The tutor in question refused to participate in the investigation, the report states. The contract for the volleyball coach in question was not renewed this year.
You can read the full NCAA report here.
Houston Football’s 2018 record now stands at five wins and eight losses.
“You never want your character or your ethics questioned,” Pezman told KPRC 2. “I can assure you there were a lot of sleepless nights but at the end of it, I feel very comfortable with the way that we administer our department.”
The unidentified football players were suspended immediately during the 2018 season for a number of games and they are now playing again.
“This is something we’re all going to learn from and grow with,” Pezman said. “And hey, trust me, these kids learned a lesson and we did as well.”