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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Truth or Myth-SEC is the Dirtiest Conference?


These guys were dirty individually, but what about their conferences?

I would be willing to bet that if you polled sports fans around the nation and asked them who they thought was the dirtiest conference in America, the SEC would win that poll.  Especially in football, the SEC has gotten the reputation of finding ways around the rules, or flat out disobeying them.  But, is that opinion actually accurate?  Does the SEC have the dirtiest schools in college athletics.  Well, over the next 2 days, I’ll try and figure that out.  Amazingly, the NCAA keeps a very thorough database of all the schools who have committed MAJOR violations since 1953.  Today, we analyze college basketball. 

College Basketball Vacated Wins by Conference
251 wins-Big 10: Michigan (114), Ohio State (82), Minnesota (36), Purdue (19)
92 wins-Pac-10: California (28), USC (21), Oregon St. (17), Arizona (19), UCLA (5), Arizona St. (2)
58 wins-Big East:St.Johns (46), Depaul (6), Villanova (4), UCONN (2)
28 wins-ACC: Florida State (24), Clemson (2), Maryland (2)
9 wins-SEC: Florida (3), Alabama (2), Georgia (2), Kentucky (2)
5 wins-Big 12: Missouri (3), Texas Tech (2)

17 mid-major programs have also had to vacate a combined 306 wins.

Note: Loyola Marymount, Marshall, and NC State have vacated games on their record, but only in losses.  Yes, games can be vacated that were losses.  For instance, Memphis’ loss in the NCAA Championship in 2008 was vacated.

OK, so the Big 10 is far and away the conference that has been hammered the most in the win-loss column due to infractions, but Steve Fisher and Jim O’Brien can almost single-handedly be thanked for that.  2 guys does not a dirty conference make.  Otherwise, the WAC would forever been considered dirty thanks to Jerry Tarkanian.  What we can say is that the Big 10 has had the biggest of the big violations, but which conference has had the most overall MAJOR violations?  
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Before reading those numbers, consider this about the stat below.  Just because a men’s basketball program committed major violations does not mean it committed those EXCLUSIVELY.  In many of the cases below, several of a school’s sports programs were grouped together on the punishment list.  So, while the basketball team may have broken the rules, other programs at the school may have committed the most serious violations.  There is no way to tell from the information the NCAA gave.  Anywho, here are the schools who have been included on a major violations report:    

College Basketball MAJOR Infractions Cases Since 1953 (NCAA reference, click here)
24 cases-Big East:Cincinnati (5), West Virginia (3), Louisville (3),  St. Johns (2), Depaul (2), Seton Hall (2), UCONN, Villanova, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Syrcause, South Florida, Notre Dame

23 cases-SEC: Kentucky (4), Georgia (3), Auburn (3), South Carolina (3), Alabama (2), Arkansas (2), LSU (2),  Florida (2), Mississippi State (2)

20 cases-Big 10: Minnesota (5), Ohio State (3), Wisconsin (3), Illinois (3), Purdue (2), Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Michigan St.

18 cases-ACC: Florida State (4), NC State (4), Wake Forest (2), Clemson (2), Maryland (2), Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Georgia Tech

17 cases-Big 12: Kansas (5), Baylor (3), Texas A&M (3), Oklahoma (2), Missouri (2), Texas Tech, Kansas St.

13 cases-Pac-10: UCLA (3), California (2), Arizona (2), USC, Washington (2), Arizona State, Oregon St., Oregon

(Note: Mid-Major teams have a total of 151 MAJOR violations cases since 1953.) 

OK, that stat doesn’t bode as well for the SEC as the vacated wins stat.  Nine of the SEC’s members have MULTIPLE major violations to their records.  Umm, ouch? 
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What about which percentage of each conference’s teams have experienced a major violation?  These conference affiliations relate to the ones from the 2010-11 season, and do not reflect the conference realignment coming next season.

Big 10: 9 of 11 teams (82%)
Big East: 13 of 16 teams (81%)
Pac-10: 8 of 10 teams (80%)
SEC: 9 of 12 teams (75%)
ACC: 9 of 12 teams (75%)
Big 12: 7 of 12 teams (58%)

Look, what does all this mean?  I don’t know if you can say but 1 thing about all of this: COLLEGE ATHLETICS ARE QUITE DIRTY.  And they have been dirty since the NCAA started keeping track in 1953.  Someone will have to explain how a school such as Minnesota, Kansas, or Cincinnati can commit major violations 5 TIMES in their history, and the NCAA has not canned their programs yet?  Until the NCAA grows a set of cajones and ends a major program (never going to happen), then you can’t blame programs for trying.

Oh, and the Big 10 is the dirtiest college basketball conference in history.

Tomorrow: College Football

Article written by Bryan the Intern

12 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Truth or Myth-SEC is the Dirtiest Conference?



  1. Country Dumb
    9:13 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    I have big cajones



  2. Go Cats
    9:42 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    Looks like the rate of violations between conferences is pretty close, however, some violations result in huge punishement (as witnessed by the large discrepancy between the vacated wins data)

    I would interpret this data by concluding that there isn’t a clear, cut winner for dirtiest program, that most programs cheat, and that some cheat very badly resulting in huge penalties.

    The goal, then, is to cheat but not so badly that you get hit with a huge penalty (oh, and use cash or Visa gift cards)



  3. Pat
    9:43 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    Since 1987 every SEC football team has been put on probation except Vandy….Just because a team didn’t have to vacate wins doesn’t mean they weren’t breaking the rules. It should be gauged on being put on probation….Sorry BTI, but the SEC is the dirtiest



  4. math
    10:00 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    Since you are compiling this article of statistics, shouldn’t the infractions imposed actually count towards the conference the school was in when committed and not to the conference they presently represent?



  5. Rockfield, KY
    10:07 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    3. Just because a team doesn’t get caught, doesn’t mean they aren’t cheating. See the 1960’s and 70’s UCLA basketball program.



  6. R. Smith
    10:18 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    good article – I bet this will get some play nationally



  7. donny
    10:24 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    “2 Guys does not a conference make” haha what, its like your the one guy on Robin hood men in tights.



  8. Mr. Zija
    10:51 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    Folks, if you are concerned about cheating and off-court issues you are misguided. Worry about what happens on the damn court/field.



  9. cracka
    10:59 am July 25, 2011 Permalink

    there’s a nice little piece of trivia for the random gaychalk fan … what do cincinnati, kansas and minnesota have in common? tied for the most with FIVE major violations, yay



  10. jack
    2:13 pm July 25, 2011 Permalink

    And if you add Texas A&M to the SEC, with their 3, from the Big 12 that makes the SEC the one conference with the most major infractions….lol



  11. TeamWeaver
    2:21 pm July 25, 2011 Permalink

    5. UCLA was caught by by the media and outed by their players but UNSANCTIONED by the NCAA. Truth and justice are not the same thing. Same with Duke/Corey Maggette.



  12. Theghostofbillspivey
    2:03 pm July 26, 2011 Permalink

    I love uk but didn’t they have the entire 1953 season vaccated