Report: SMU placed on 2 years’ probation

The Southern Methodist University (SMU) men’s basketball program was placed on two years’ probation by the NCAA Thursday for impermissible contact with recruits, the Dallas Observer reported.

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions found that SMU committed "major" violations when its coaches sent about 100 "impermissible text messages" to the parents of several recruits.

According to the NCAA release, the school’s former director of compliance erroneously told the coaches that sending text messages to parents of recruits was allowed under NCAA rules.

The NCAA said that as soon as head coach Matt Doherty realized that the information was wrong, he reported the violations to the NCAA and instructed his staff to cease the text-messaging.

The NCAA said it would accept SMU’s self-imposed penalty of a two-year probationary period, ending March 9, 2013. SMU also reduced its coaching staff’s recruiting time by 15 days and imposed last April a two-week ban on contacting recruits.

Doherty, the former coach at Notre Dame and North Carolina, has headed the Mustangs for the past five seasons. SMU finished 20-15 this season, including an 8-8 record in Conference USA play.

SMU’s football program received the so-called death penalty from the NCAA in 1986 after it was found that players were being paid. The punishment came after the program was already on probation and resulted in the cancellation of the entire 1987 season.