Michigan State has spent more time on probation than any other Big Ten team; Brady Hoke coached the only MAC school on NCAA sanctions list
With an NCAA investigation under way at Ohio State, the football team that has dominated the Big Ten for the past decade could be catching up on conference rivals in another category.
The Buckeyes would need to be hit with a five-year NCAA probation to join fellow Big Ten programs at Michigan State, Wisconsin and Illinois on the top 10 list of college football programs that have spent the most years on NCAA probation.
That nugget of information is culled from extensive research conducted by SportsDelve.com, which lists every instance of a Football Bowl Subdivision program being placed on probation by the NCAA.
Another: Current Michigan coach Brady Hoke is the only coach to have a current Mid-American Conference team placed on probation while they competed in the league.
Not surprisingly, Southern Methodist -- which received the NCAA’s only death penalty in 1987 -- leads the list of schools that have spent the most years on probation. SMU compiled 17 years of probation over a nation-high nine separate instances since the NCAA started placing teams on probation in 1953.
USC, which was handed a four-year suspension last June, is next with 12 years.
Michigan State is tied for fourth on the list with 10 years worth of probation accrued over three instances, the most recent occurring in 1996.
Wisconsin and Illinois both have nine years over four instances on their records.
The three-year probation that Michigan received in 2010 for its infractions under former coach Rich Rodriguez was the first in program history.
Other Big Ten teams on the list (Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue are the only ones not on it) include:
Indiana: 5 years, 2 instances
Minnesota: 4 years, 2 instances
Ohio State: 4 years, 2 instances
Nebraska: 1 year, 1 instance
According to the SportsDelve.com research, just two current Mid-American Conference schools (Buffalo and Ball State) have been placed on NCAA probation. Buffalo was penalized in 1970, well before it joined the MAC in 1999.
That leaves Hoke as the only coach to have his program go on probation while it was a member of the current MAC lineup. He was the head coach at Ball State when members of the football team, along with athletes from nine other sports, were found to be misusing a textbook loan program.
According to a 2007 report in the USA Today, a total of 89 athletes obtained $26,944 worth of books for classes in which they were not enrolled. The NCAA found that players whose class load did not require $1,000 worth of textbooks -- the total set aside for scholarship athletes -- used the balance to buy books for friends and non-scholarship athletes.
The infractions occurred between the spring semester of 2003 and the end of the 2004-05 school year. Hoke was Ball State's coach from 2003-08.
The football team’s penalty was two years of probation and the loss of three scholarships.
The only other MAC offender was Marshall, a member of the league from 1954-69 and again from 1997-2005. It was placed on four-year probation in 2001.
Also notable from a Big Ten perspective, Penn State is one of only two programs that have won NCAA football championships that have never been under NCAA sanctions. Brigham Young is the other.