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The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville responded Monday to an NCAA letter of inquiry about overpayments from a booster to football and basketball players.
The 150-page document, plus attachments, attempts to explain why the school should not be subjected to punishment as a repeat violator concerning payments from Dallas booster Ted Harrod to players between 1994 and 1999.
Since the basketball team was placed on probation April 19, 1997, another major violation within five years would subject Arkansas to repeat violator penalties. Any violations since are believed to be secondary, not major, according to the response released.
The university reaffirmed two points from a 32-month investigation by the school and NCAA enforcement staff. Several student-athletes were overcompensated, but the "available information does not support a finding that any student-athletes received wages for not working," the response said.
The university and the enforcement staff concluded athletic director Frank Broyles was unaware of the overcompensation and other violations. Broyles acknowledged a personal friendship with Harrod when the university self-reported the violations in 2000.
Arkansas acknowledged violating five NCAA bylaws, including failure to monitor players' employment records, supplemental salary and overcompensation. The most damaging was its failure to monitor the employment record of players at Harrod's Truck Service Inc. while he was a contributor to the athletic department.
MORE COLLEGES: Florida State is No. 2 in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll. Texas is No. 1, Miami No. 14. The magazine also tabbed FSU shortstop Stephen Drew and catcher Tony Richie as preseason first-team all-Americans; ace Matt Lynch is a second-team pick; relief pitcher Daniel Hodges is on the third team. ... Tom Burnett was hired commissioner of the Southland Conference after spending more than 11 years with the Sun Belt Conference. He replaces Greg Sankey, who resigned to become associate commissioner of the SEC.
GOLF: The year's final world rankings were published and set in motion a holiday tradition like no other: Masters invitations are in the mail. The 87 who already have qualified include a record 39 foreign-born players and 10 professionals who will make their first trip to Augusta National, such as PGA champion Rich Beem and rookie Jonathan Byrd, who won the Buick Challenge. Among those not on the invitation list are John Daly, Tom Lehman, Paul Azinger and Mark Calcavecchia. The final field will not be determined until after the Players Championship on March 24-30.
AMERICA'S CUP: No penalty was imposed on San Francisco's Oracle, though a jury ruled the syndicate broke Cup rules by using a sophisticated radar system during races. The jury invited challengers and defender Team New Zealand to approve the use of radar and other devices in upcoming races in Auckland, New Zealand.
MLS: D.C. United sent forward Jaime Moreno, defender Eddie Pope and midfielder Richie Williams to New York/New Jersey for defender Mike Petke, a 2003 first-round pick and a future player allocation.
OLYMPICS: Iowa State wrestling coach Bobby Douglas was appointed coach of the U.S. freestyle team that will compete at the World Championships Sept. 12-13 in New York.
AUTOS: Eric Bachelart will move his Conquest Racing team to the CART circuit next season from the rival IRL, bucking a trend of teams switching to IRL from CART.
HONOR: Ski jumper Sven Hannevald was selected Germany's male athlete of the year, beating out NBA star Dirk Nowitzki and Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher. Hannevald was the first to capture all four legs of the Four Hills tournament and was a member of Germany's gold-medal team at the Salt Lake City Games.
-- BRIAN LANDMAN, TIMES WIRES