Today in NCAA tedium: Nebraska caught helping athletes learn

Rule breaking has become a trend this summer and, as we learned with Joe Paterno and Mark Richt, no one is immune from even the most meaningless of violations. This week, Nebraska came forward as the latest victim of NCAA tedium with a confession that it gave several student athletes extra textbook benefits.

According to NCAA rules, providing textbooks beyond the required reading is not permissible. Nebraska athletes also were receiving "recommended" textbooks for their various classes.

It is mildly amusing that the NCAA, with its commitment to academic excellence and all, is discouraging schools from helping student athletes learn more.

Nebraska discovered the violation on its own and as a preventative measure, self-imposed a two-year probation and fined itself $28,000.{YSP:MORE}

The extra textbook benefits occurred between the spring of 2007 and fall of 2010 and the textbook "scandal" involved 238 athletes and totaled $27,869.47, with the average cost amounting to less than $60 per athlete.

While this whole textbook "scandal" might seem kinda lame in terms of an NCAA violation, it's the same type of thing that, in 2009, forced Alabama to vacate wins. Even though Alabama admitted to providing nearly $40,000 in impermissible textbook benefits and self-imposed sanctions, the NCAA hit it hard because the school was a repeat offender.

But Nebraska doesn't have to worry about that. In fact, it's giving its $28,000 fine to yet-to-be-determined charity as a show of good faith. It will have to await word from the NCAA on further punishment and athletic director Tom Osborne said that decision should come in October.

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