NCAA Scandals Over The Past Decade


College sports is supposed to be a pure display of competitiveness with the core of it being amateurism. With the business of sports now growing at a rapid rate, money has left a stain on the NCAA’s reputation. Programs like University of Miami football have always come under scrutiny, but have recently been the center of scandal and sanctions. Penn State football tickets used to be the most sought tickets in college football, but after a disgusting scandal, great shame follows the entire university. Here are the most recent scandals and penalties associated with the NCAA.

Penn State

Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse and sentenced to 30-60 years in prison. The abuse may have started as early as the 1970s, with the story breaking in November 2011. Three school officials were charged with obstruction of justice, perjury, and failure to report suspected child abuse.

School President Graham Spanier resigned and The Penn State Board of Trustees terminated Athletic Director Todd Curley’s and Head Football Coach Joe Paterno’s contracts. The NCAA imposed a $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban, scholarship reductions, and vacated all football wins from 1998-2011. Three years later, the NCAA rescinded its postseason ban, restored scholarships, and gave back the wins from 1998-2011. Paterno, who died in 2012, remains college football’s all-time wins leader with 409 victories.


Both Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo forfeited their amateur status when they accepted gifts from agents. The women’s tennis team was also cited for unauthorized phone calls made by a former player.

The football team vacated the final two wins of the 2004 national championship season and the entire 2005 season. The NCAA reducted 30 scholarships over three years and was banned from bowl games in 2010 and 2011. The basketball team vacated all of their wins from the 2007-2008 season and was banned from the 2010 postseason. Reggie Bush also gave back his 2005 Heisman Trophy.


Head basketball coach Jim Boeheim failed to comply with NCAA rules within his program for over a decade. In 2012, it came to knowledge that Fab Melo received improper assistance on coursework. Melo re-submitted a paper from a class he took two semesters prior in order to raise his grade for eligibility reasons.

Syracuse self-imposed a one-year postseason ban for the 2015 season. Syracuse and Boeheim vacated wins from the 2004-2007 and 2010-2012 seasons. The vacated wins saw Boeheim’s wins drop from 966 to 858, dropping him from second to sixth in all-time wins.

University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina’s football program was found guilty of academic fraud and failure to monitor the football program.

The school fired head coach Butch Davis and athletic director Dick Baddour resigned. The school vacated its own wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The NCAA banned North Carolina from the 2012 postseason, reducted 15 scholarships, and was put on three years probation.

University of Miami

13 players from 2002-2010 were found ineligible from taking gifts mainly from booster Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro violated at least four NCAA violations: impermissible compensation to coaches, involvement with amateur athletes, providing extra benefits to athletes, and involvement with improper recruiting activity.

The entire Miami athletic program was put on three years probation. The football program was reducted nine scholarships in three seasons, the basketball program was reducted one scholarship, former basketball coach Frank Haith was suspended five games in 2013 while he was at Missouri.