The recent media frenzy about NCAA investigators asking questions about Auburn’s football program prompted the repeated chorus of “Auburn is the cheatingest bunch of cheaters in college football” from around the region. As we pointed out last year after Auburn was cleared in the Cam Newton investigation, Auburn is not a frequently punished cheater in the modern era. Auburn has not been found guilty of a major NCAA violation since 1993 – since the Eric Ramsey case at the end of the Pat Dye era.
This website [https://web1.ncaa.org/LSDBi/exec/miSearch ] is the NCAA Major Penalty Infractions Database. It is easily searchable and provides all the details of NCAA investigations and penalties. Since current high school seniors were born in 1995, we searched from 1995 to now, for all SEC football teams. The results are detailed below.
So if you disagree with the data below, that is fine – just know that it is fact. It is not opinion or internet rumor or “I heard on the radio” garbage. These are the real cases where the NCAA has conducted investigations and found schools guilty. You can draw your own conclusions.
Current SEC Football teams on probation: Tennessee and South Carolina.
Number of Times SEC Schools have been Given Major NCAA Penalties Since 1995:
Alabama – 3 (2009, 2002, 1995)
Mississippi State – 2 (2004, 1996)
South Carolina – 2 (2012, 2005)
Tennessee – 1 (2012)
LSU – 1 (2011)
Arkansas -1 (2003)
Kentucky – 1 (2002)
Georgia – 1 (1997)
Auburn – ZERO
Number of Years on NCAA Probation Since 1995 (includes future years for penalties ongoing)
Alabama – 7 years
South Carolina – 6 years
Mississippi State – 5 years
Kentucky – 3 years
Arkansas – 3 years
Tennessee – 2 years
Georgia – 2 years
LSU – 1 year
Auburn – ZERO
You can download the list of NCCA Penalties for SEC teams 1995-current here.
Van Allen Plexico managed to attend Auburn (and score student football tickets) for some portion of every year between 1986 and 1996. He realizes that’s probably not something one should brag about, but hey. He teaches college near St Louis (because ten years as a student was somehow just not enough time to spend at school) and writes and edits for a variety of publishers. Find links to his various projects at www.plexico.net.
John Ringer graduated from Auburn in 1991 (which may be the greatest time ever to be an Auburn student – SEC titles in 1987, 88 and 89 and the 1989 Iron Bowl). His family has had season tickets every year since well before he was born and he grew up wandering around Jordan-Hare on game days. He currently lives in Richmond, Virginia where he spends way too much time reading about college football on the internet and teaching his children to love Auburn football.
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