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NCAA Wants More Arkansas Details

November 16, 2002

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LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ The NCAA is demanding more information from Arkansas about questionable payments made by a booster to football and basketball players.

The school also was asked why it shouldn’t be severely punished as a repeat offender because the new accusations come just five years after the basketball team was penalized for minor violations.

The letter of inquiry was dated Monday and made public Friday.

A university lawyer called it a ``form letter″ and said the school believes it already had reached an agreement with NCAA investigators that payments to athletes between 1997 and 1999 did not justify charges of major violations.

The basketball team faced sanctions in 1997, but university attorney Scott Varady said the new violations were not serious enough to warrant severe penalties as a repeat offender.

The university punished its football program by rescinding two scholarships, and also punished the basketball program, but the NCAA ordered a more complete investigation.

A hearing was scheduled for Jan. 18 in Atlanta.

Under the NCAA’s repeat-violator rule, penalties range from having to temporarily give up NCAA voting rights to the most serious: dropping a sport for up to two years. Only major violations can trigger the so-called death penalty.

``If you believe this rule is not applicable, you should so state in your response and submit the appropriate information to support your position,″ NCAA enforcement vice president David Price wrote to Chancellor John A. White.

The university previously disclosed that the booster, Ted Harrod, paid too much in wages to athletes who worked for his Dallas trucking firm between 1994 and 1999.

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