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NCAA Probation - Who has been on it most?

  • A few years ago when Southern California was placed on probation. Some people were surprised by the severity of the penalties (only USC fans, really). But in the report released by the NCAA, it was directly noted that the USC football program had previously been placed on probation five times since the early 1950s. I’m sure USC’s repeat violations had some impact on the severity of the penalties they received in 2010.

    Listed below are the current FBS schools that have been placed on probation, in which the school’s football team was somehow involved. It’s important to keep in mind that violations in other sports often bring attention to a school’s entire athletic program. Sometimes the football violations paled in comparison to violations in other sports, but if the football program was involved I still listed them (i.e. Baylor’s probation from 2005-09).

    College Football (FBS) Programs That Have Been Sanctioned the Most

    Note: The count includes seasons not yet completed (i.e. USC 2012-2013).
    Rk School Seasons Sanctioned
    1 Southern Methodist (TX) 17 7
    2 Southern California 15 6
    3 Auburn (AL) 11 4
    4t Alabama 10 3
    4t Michigan St. 10 3
    4t Oklahoma 10 5
    7t Colorado 9 5
    7t Illinois 9 5
    7t Texas A&M 9 4
    7t Wisconsin 9 4
    11t Arizona St. 8 4
    11t California 8 3
    11t Cincinnati (OH) 8 4
    11t Kansas 8 4
    11t Kansas St. 8 4
    11t Miami (FL) 8 3
    11t Oklahoma St. 8 2
    11t South Carolina 8 3
    19t Florida Intl 7 2
    19t Houston (TX) 7 3
    19t Memphis (TN) 7 3
    19t Mississippi 7 3
    19t Mississippi St. 7 3
    19t Ohio St. 7 3
    19t Texas Tech 7 3

    Notes

    Since 1953, the year the NCAA instituted penalties, Southern Methodist has spent 29% of their seasons on probation. By 2013, Southern California will have spent 25% of their seasons on probation.

    The 2012 season, will be Florida International’s first season off of probation since they joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2005.

    Schools that are currently from the SEC have been sanctioned 35 times, for a total of 77 seasons; the most by any conference in the FBS.

    College Football (FBS) and NCAA Probation by Conference

    Note: The count includes seasons not yet completed (i.e. USC 2012-2013).
    Conference Sanctioned Seasons
    Atlantic Coast 18 38
    Big 12 25 56
    Big East 8 14
    Big Ten 21 48
    Conference USA 22 51
    Independents 2 3
    Mid-American 3 4
    Mountain West 6 12
    Pac-12 31 64
    Southeastern 35 77
    Sun Belt 5 13
    Western Athletic 3 8

    The bowl ban is one of the most severe penalties the NCAA can hand out. Since 1953, the NCAA has handed out a total of 80 bowl bans to current FBS schools.

    Auburn and Southern Methodist are tied for the most years of bowl bans; nine bowl bans in total.

    College Football (FBS) Programs That Have Received the Most Bowl Bans

    Rk School Years Bowl Bans
    1t Auburn (AL) 9 4
    1t Southern Methodist (TX) 9 5
    3 Southern California 6 4
    4t Florida 5 3
    4t Houston (TX) 5 2
    4t Kansas St. 5 2
    4t Miami (FL) 5 3
    4t Oklahoma 5 3
    4t Oklahoma St. 5 2
    10t Indiana 4 1
    10t North Carolina St. 4 1
    10t Texas A&M 4 4
    10t UCLA 4 2
    14t Alabama 3 2
    14t Arizona St. 3 3
    14t California 3 2
    14t Colorado 3 2
    14t Illinois 3 2
    14t Kansas 3 3
    14t Kentucky 3 3
    14t Michigan St. 3 1
    14t Mississippi 3 2
    14t Mississippi St. 3 2
    14t Tulsa (OK) 3 1

    On 21 occasions a bowl ban has kept a current FBS school from winning a conference championship, has prevented them from competing in a conference championship game, or has kept a conference champion out of a bowl game.
    School Year(s)
    Alabama 2002
    Arizona St 1959
    Auburn (AL) 1957, 1993
    Clemson (SC) 1982, 1983
    Florida 1984, 1985, 1990
    Kentucky 1977
    Miami (FL) 1995
    Michigan St. 1978
    North Carolina St. 1957
    Oklahoma 1973, 1974
    Southern California 1959, 2011
    Southern Methodist (TX) 1981
    Texas A&M 1956, 1994
    Wyoming 1959

    References

    Thanks to Robert Bradley for the idea.

    The NCAA has made available a database of every major infraction they have dealt with. You can access their Legislative Services Database to conduct your own research on the topic. I would have liked to have been able to provide a link to every document I accessed, but unfortunately the links change with every user session. Most of the information posted was found using the NCAA database.

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