- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

NORMAN, OKLA. (AP) - After getting in trouble for breaking the NCAA’s rules about recruiting phone calls, Oklahoma is trying to make sure there aren’t more problems lurking on the Internet.

Among safeguards put in place following NCAA sanctions against the men’s basketball program, the university has created a policy with recommendations for athletes’ usage of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The policy was among documents sent to the NCAA as part of the university’s annual compliance report and released Monday to The Associated Press after an open records request.

Oklahoma also reported that it continues to add rules education programs and software designed to monitor compliance with NCAA rules following major violations by the men’s basketball and football programs.

The school is on probation until May 2010.

In the social networking policy, athletes are warned that their postings must comply with a code of conduct and can be punishable with education, counseling, suspension or expulsion and with the reduction or cancellation of financial aid. It warns athletes not to post pictures that would portray them negatively nor post contact information that agents or their runners could use to put the athletes’ eligibility in jeopardy.

“‘Partying,’ ‘drinking,’ and ‘getting wasted’ do not qualify as real hobbies or interests,” the policy warns.

The annual compliance reports are required as part of Oklahoma’s NCAA sanctions for former coach Kelvin Sampson’s hundreds of impermissible recruiting phone calls and an employment scandal that involved former quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn getting paid for work at a car dealership that they did not perform.

The latest report outlines a new software system that centralizes documents, such as phone bills and records of athletes’ employment, and a program that can detect when the university’s computers have been used to access improper Web sites, including ones that allow gambling or promote academic fraud.

According to the compliance report, Oklahoma’s secondary violations of NCAA rules have increased “consistently” since 2002.

“However, this trend should not be interpreted as negative, but rather reflects more effective and thorough monitoring,” according to the April 1 report written by vice president and general counsel Anil Gollahalli.

The report lists 11 total secondary violations for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 school years, but at least 30 for every year since and a high point of 46 in 2005-06.

Included in documents relased to the AP were records of single secondary violations by the baseball, wrestling, women’s basketball, softball, men’s tennis and rowing programs and six by the football team.

The football violations included:

_ providing too much money to a football player to return home for the holidays because of an incorrect address;

_ coach Bob Stoops and two assistants inadvertantly visiting a recruit’s basketball game that had been rescheduled because of an ice storm;

_ Stoops mentioning at a news conference the name of a walk-on player who was technically still a prospect;

_ Stoops sending an impermissible text to a recruit when he thought he was sending an e-mail from his BlackBerry device;

_ assistant coach Jackie Shipp taking a recruit to a restaurant he thought was on campus; and

_ the program improperly providing meals and lodging worth $361.95 on a recruit’s official visit because of a mixup regarding his legal guardian.

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