The college football world is no stranger to scandal. Sure, there have been plenty of coach firings and player suspensions. But there are some events so dastardly — from illegal gambling to violence and assault — they leave a heinous legacy behind. Here’s a look at 14 of the biggest scandals to shake the college football world.
The Syracuse violations
The NCAA came down hard on Syracuse athletics in 2015, following a 94-page reportrevealing the Orange had made serious violations of the NCAA’s academic and drug policies. While the bulk of the penalties affected the men’s basketball team, Syracuse’s football team was stripped of victories from 2005-2006. (Although that only accounted for five wins under coach Greg Robinson, who is considered one of the worst coaches in the sport’s history.)
The George O’Leary hiring at Notre Dame
There’s only a handful of college football hires who never made it to coaching their first game. The worst of all of them is, hand’s down, when Notre Dame hired George O’Leary in December 2001. Just a couple days after the hiring, the Fighting Irish learned O’Leary had falsified parts of his resume.
He claimed to have lettered multiple times at the University of New Hampshire — former coaches and players didn’t remember him playing there — and to have earned a masters degree at NYU — which he had not. O’Leary was confronted by the school and forced to resign just five days after being hired.