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The Roy Faires Collection, no. 58 - Interview with Texas A&M’s William H. Mobley (1988)

Austin History Center

Sound | 1988

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  •  Texas A&M President William H. Mobley 
  •  Reaction from the alumni 
  •  On Coach Sherrill’s resignation 
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This footage includes an unedited interview with Texas A&M University President William H. Mobley about the NCAA investigation into improper conduct by the football program’s coaching staff. The investigation led to a two-year probation for the team and its head coach and athletic director, Jackie Sherrill. Faires worked as a special project director and entertainment critic/reporter at KVUE-TV, Austin’s ABC affiliate, from 1976-1989.
In 1988, a National Collegiate Athletic Association investigation found that Texas A&M University had violated at least 25 rules. According to the report, members of the coaching staff offered football prospects improper inducements, or implied that prospective players would receive improper benefits if he attended the university. As a result, the football team was placed on two years’ probation and deemed ineligible to participate in bowl games for the 1988 season. The NCAA also decreased the amount of athletic scholarships Texas A&M could award, the amount of on-campus recruiting visits coaches could make, and the number of coaches allowed to recruit off-campus. Jackie Sherrill, the athletic director and head coach of the football team, was also placed on administrative probation for two years. The Aggies, then a part of the Southwest Conference, were the fifth school in the conference to be under investigation around this time. Only the previous year, the NCAA imposed the “death penalty” on Southern Methodist University’s football program, canceling the school’s entire 1987 season. The scandal, also known as “Ponygate,” surrounded the use of a slush fund to recruit prospects and pay players.