Poll: Most Shocking College Football Scandal


The recent Bobby Petrino saga called attention to the fact that, as in the celebrity and political world, the world of sports is certainly not without juicy scandals. What is the most shocking scandal that you can remember?

 Penn State

Though Joe Paterno will  be remembered for his amazing run as a coach, it will be tarnished by the horrible story from Penn State last year. Former Nittany Lions assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexually assaulting at least eight underage boys. He was indicted on 42 counts of child molestation. After further investigation, it was discovered that important people, including Joe Paterno, likely knew about the inappropriate conduct and helped cover for Sandusky.

Reggie Bush

Bush is an example of an amazing player caught up in the bad side of college football. He and his family were accused of receiving gifts that violated NCAA policies right before the 2006 draft. USC faced was placed on four years of probation, vacating two wins of the 2004 season, including the 2005 Orange Bowl and all of its 2005 wins. They were also banned from bowl games in both 2010 and 2011. Over the course of three years, they will lose 30 scholarships. In addition, the Heisman Trophy Trust also did an investigation and even though they did not revoke the trophy, Bush said he would send it back voluntarily, thus removing him as a winner. He has yet to do so.

SMU Death Penalty

Southern Methodist University won the national championship in 1935 and claim one Heisman Trophy winner. SMU was placed on NCAA probation five times between 1974 and 1985. The penalties ranged in scale, but many dealt with recruiting violations. After much investigation, SMU’s entire football season in 1987 was cancelled and so were all four of their home games in 1988. There has never been a more severe punishment in Division One. The punishment basically ruined the SMU football program, which only had one winning season over the following 20 years and didn’t make another bowl game until 2009. Finally, it contributed to the collapse of the Southwest Conference.

Albert Means

The mere mention of Albert Means makes Alabama fans cringe and brings forth a hatred for Phil Fulmer. Means was yet another example of a high school player that became a pawn for underhanded tacticians. Lynn Lang, Means’ high school head coach, arranged a deal with Alabama boosters that Means would meet with them for $200,000. After both an NCAA and FBI investigation in which Fulmer testified as a secret witness, Means’ former coach received criminal convictions and Alabama was given a two-year bowl ban, five years of probation and almost received the death penalty.


It was hard narrowing down a list when there is so much dirtiness involved in college football.  There was the “Free Shoes” scandal at Florida State University, Lane Kiffin’s antics, Miami’s contant trouble with the NCAA, “Tattoo-Gate” at Ohio State, Cam Newton, and most recently, the Bobby Petrino scandal.  If you think something is missing from the list, let us know in the comments.

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