Oklahoma and the NCAA both agree the Sooners committed violations in the recruitment of big man Tiny Gallon. Now we'll have to wait a few weeks to see if both parties also agree on a proper punishment.
The NCAA found no lack of institutional control and no evidence of wrongdoing by former Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel, but it did declare former assistant Oronde Taliaferro guilty of two major violations. Taliaferro broke the rules by failing to report Gallon had received an impermissible benefit in the form of a loan from an financial adviser and then by lying to Oklahoma and NCAA enforcement staffers during the investigation.
As a result of those findings, Oklahoma has asked the NCAA to place its men's basketball program on two years probation and vacate all wins from the 2009-10 season in which the Sooners finished a disappointing 13-18. The Sooners also proposed the NCAA revokes one scholarship, two official visits and 10 in-person recruiting days during the 2011-12 academic year.
Whether that self-imposed punishment is sufficient will depend on whether the NCAA looks more at Oklahoma's checkered history or at the isolated nature of these particular violations.
On the one hand, the Sooners are still on probation from a previous case involving the hundreds of impermissible phone calls Kelvin Sampson and his staff made. On the other hand, the NCAA goes out of its way to characterize this particular case as an example of a rogue coach acting without the knowledge of anyone else on campus.
Says the report: "The information obtained through the investigation revealed that Capel promoted an atmosphere of compliance, had no knowledge impermissible benefit and was not aware of Taliaferro's knowledge of the violation until Taliaferro told him about it in late March and early April 2010."
"This is an isolated incident involving a single member of the coaching staff, who clearly knew his lack of action to prevent or report the violation was not acceptable. No violations of this nature were the subject of a prior case and there is no lack of control or institutional failure to monitor present."
Since Taliaferro resigned last year, Gallon left Oklahoma after the 2009-10 season and the notoriously squeaky clean Lon Kruger is now running the program, it's hard to see the NCAA's punishment being too much worse than what the Sooners proposed.
It's going to take Oklahoma a while to dig out from under this mess and get back into contention in the Big 12, but at least now the program can start to move forward in earnest.