Response to NCAA Report

Letter to the SMU Community from President R. Gerald Turner

September 29, 2015


Dear Members of the SMU community:

As you know, SMU is fully committed to ethical behavior by every member of our community. Accordingly, when we are presented with conduct that is not only contrary to who we are, but which impacts all who serve and love this institution, we will take immediate corrective action.

To that end, I am disappointed to inform you that the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Committee on Infractions has determined that three former members of SMU’s athletics’ staff and Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown violated NCAA bylaws. SMU disagrees with some of the Committee’s conclusions and penalties. As we consider an appeal, we are particularly concerned about sanctions that are punitive against student-athletes who were not involved in the infractions. We are committed to moving forward in the best interests of our student-athletes and the University.

The full Committee on Infractions report – as well as our official response – can be found at

We believe that our compliance model meets or exceeds industry standards, with regular oversight and reporting involving a variety of campus constituencies. In fact, in 2011, the University and the Department of Athletics commissioned a full external review of our compliance training and education programs, our reporting policies for coaches and staff, and our overall monitoring of athletics programs. We added two full-time compliance staff members and a full-time intern, and we upgraded our compliance software for more real-time monitoring and auditing. However, we can do better—and we will. As this case shows, even the best compliance programs are not immune from individual acts of misjudgment and misbehavior.

We regret any infraction of NCAA bylaws. When these potential allegations first came to light, the University cooperated fully with the NCAA, accepting responsibility, imposing corrective measures and taking decisive action.

SMU has a strong history of academic and athletic excellence. We are committed to ethical behavior in all our programs, including full compliance with NCAA rules. As a proud member of the American Athletic Conference and the NCAA, we value our responsibility as a member institution to act ethically and to follow the letter and spirit of all bylaws.

Moving forward, we will continue our commitment to integrity and to the values on which this institution was founded more than a century ago.



R. Gerald Turner