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College Football Controversies

College football fans love to complain about the Bowl Championship Series, but controversy is nothing new to this game. In this category, we take a look at the long history of controversy in college football: Disputed championships, questionable calls, shady recruiting and more.

The O'Bannon Bombshell and the Future of Big-Time College Sports
To hear some tell it, the ruling issued in August of 2014 by Judge Claudia Wilken in the much-discussed O’Bannon case spells the end of college athletics as we know it.

O’Bannon vs. NCAA: Opinions and Reaction
Opinion about and reaction to the O'Bannon v. NCAA trial in June of 2014.

NCAA Statement: O'Bannon Case
The NCAA's statement after the conclusion of arguments in the O'Bannon v. NCAA case.

Big Ten Statement on O'Bannon v. NCAA
The Big Ten's statement about the O'Bannan v. NCAA case.

Media Reaction: The SEC Sticks to Its Eight-Game League Schedule
After the SEC announced in late April of 2014 that it would stick to its existing eight-game league schedule format, reaction from around the country was swift--and mostly negative.

With Scheduling Decision, SEC Takes the Easy Way Out

Coach and AD Reaction: The SEC Keeps Its Eight-Game League Schedule
For the most part, the media wasn’t thrilled with the SEC’s decision, made in the spring of 2014, to retain its eight-game league format, even though other power conferences have switched to a nine-game league slate. Nationally, coaches and athletic directors weren’t really happy with the decision, either.

NCAA Statement on Johnny Manziel
The complete NCAA statement that brought the Johnny Manziel matter to a close.

NCAA Statement Supporting Mark Emmert
With columnists from around the nation calling for his ouster, the NCAA executive committee in February of 2013 issued a statement in support of NCAA president Mark Emmert.

After Miami Debacle, the Media Hits Out at the NCAA
In the wake of the NCAA's admission that it committed wrongdoing during its investigation into the University of Miami, columnists heavily criticized both the NCAA and its president, Mark Emmert.

Donna Shalala's Statement to the NCAA
After being served a Notice of Allegations by the troubled NCAA, Miami president Donna Shalala fought back.

Donna Shalala Statement on Flawed NCAA Investigation
After the NCAA admitted wrongdoing during its investigation into the University of Miami, Donna Shalala issued a strong statement, criticizing the NCAA and defending her institution.

The Nation Reacts to the Manti Te'o Hoax
Reaction from around the nation to the stunning Manti Te'o hoax story at Notre Dame.

Jack Swarbrick's Manti Te'o Press Conference
On Jan. 16, 2013, Notre Dame athletic director called a press conference to address the Manti Te'o hoax. Excerpts from that press conference can be read here.

The Manti Te'o Hoax
Statements, quotes and more about the most bizarre sports story of the year: The Manti Te'o hoax at Notre Dame.

Penn State Faculty Senate Past Chair Statement on NCAA Sanctions
On Aug. 28, 2012, a group of past chairs of the Penn State Faculty Senate issued a statement regarding the Freeh Report, the NCAA’s harsh sanctions against Penn State, and how both the report and sanctions would impact the university going forward.

Penn State Board of Trustees Chairman Karen Peetz Response to NCAA Sanctions
Penn State Board of Trustees Chairman Karen Peetz Response to NCAA Sanctions

Penn State Board of Trustees Chairman Karen Peetz Response to Freeh Report
On July 18, 2012, Penn State Board of Trustees chairman Karen Peetz addressed the Penn State community in the immediate wake of the release of the Freeh Report--the report that resulted from former FBI director Louis Freeh's investigation into the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.

College Football Questions & Answers: The Penn State Edition, Part I
What comes next for Penn State? How bad will things get up in Happy Valley? And how long will it be before Bill O'Brien can get this program back on track?

Penn State Athletics Responds to NCAA Sanctions
Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien and athletic director David Joyner respond to the NCAA sanctions delivered in response to the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal

Penn State President Rodney Erickson Responds to NCAA Sanctions
On Monday, July 23, 2012, the NCAA handed down a crushing set of sanctions on the Penn State football program as a result of the school’s failures in the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal. In the wake of the announcement, Penn State president Rodney Erickson issued a statement of his own.

Paterno Family Statement on Freeh Report
On July 10, 2012, the family of the late Joe Paterno issued a statement in which they claimed that they had requested but had been denied an opportunity to meet with the investigators looking into Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal.

College Football Questions & Answers: The Penn State Edition, Part II
Can the Nittany Lions remain competitive? Will O'Brien be able to recruit well enough to assemble a Big Ten roster? And just how bad will it get for the once proud Penn State program? We attempt to answer those questions, and more, in Part II of our Penn State Edition of College Football Questions & Answers.

National Reaction to the NCAA's Penn State Sanctions
There's simply no mistaking it: The downfall of Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal stands as one of the biggest (and most depressing) stories in not only college football history, but American sports history as well. As a result, then, it's hardly surprising that so many pundits, columnists and commentators found it...

Paterno Family Statement After Freeh Report
After the release of the Freeh Report, the Paterno family issued a statement defending Paterno and claiming that the report was flawed.

Big Ten Statement on Penn State Sanctions
In the wake of the NCAA's harsh punishment of Penn State, the Big Ten weighed in with sanctions of its own.

CNN Report: Penn State Leadership Discussed Sandusky Situation in 2011
On Friday night, June 29, CNN released a stunning report that seemed to indicate that the highest levels of the Penn State administration were aware of allegations against Sandusky in February of 2011, just five months before another victim was abused by Sandusky, and yet apparently decided against taking the matter to police, or even the...

Big Ten, Ivy League Announce Concussion Study
In late June of 2012, the Big Ten Conference and the Ivy League announced a new collaboration under which the leagues and their member schools will "engage in a co-sponsored, cross-institutional research collaboration to study the effects of head injuries in sports, continuing efforts dating back more than two years."

Matt Sandusky Statement in the Jerry Sandusky Case
Mere hours before Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 charges of child sexual abuse, another bombshell was dropped in a scandal that certainly has had no shortage of them: Matt Sandusky, the adoptive son of Jerry Sandusky, announced through his attorneys that he, too, had been a victim of his father's abuse.

The Bobby Petrino Scandal
In April of 2012, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long announced that Bobby Petrino, the oft-controversial but ever-successful coach who helped revive the Razorbacks program, had been fired for a pattern of deceptive behavior that was uncovered in the wake of a motorcycle accident on April 1.

Penn State Statement on Jerry Sandusky Conviction
Penn State issued a statement in the immediate wake of the conviction of former football assistant Jerry Sandusky.

Jeff Long Statement on the Firing of Bobby Petrino
On April 10, 2012, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long stepped to the podium and made an announcement that dramatically changed the future outlook not only for his football program, but also that of the SEC West and the future of one of college football's most high-profile coaches, Bobby Petrino.

Bobby Petrino's Statement After Being Fired by Arkansas
After being fired by the University of Arkansas, Bobby Petrino offers his apologies.

Should College Football Adopt a Playoff?
It's the question in college football that just won't go away: Should college football finally create a playoff system?

The Post-Paterno Era at Penn State
After the passing of coaching legend Joe Paterno, Penn State is moving forward under the leadership of new coach Bill O'Brien.

After Trustees' Statement, Paterno Family Fires Back
On March 12, 2012, the trustees of Penn State University issued an unexpected and, according to many, somewhat bizarre statement, explaining to the university community and the public (once again) why they had made the decision to fire legendary coach Joe Paterno (and former university president Graham Spanier) in November of 2011.

Penn State Trustees: Paterno Fired for Lack of 'Leadership'
Months after news broke of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal at Penn State and mere weeks after Joe Paterno passed away after a short battle with cancer, the Penn State board of trustees issued a statement defending their decision to fire both Paterno and Penn State’s former president, Graham Spanier.

Phil Knight's Speech for Joe Paterno
On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, Phil Knight, chairman of Nike, spoke during the Joe Paterno memorial service at Penn State University. In that speech, the longtime Paterno admired both praised and defended the coach.

Joe Paterno and the Jerry Sandusky Sex Scandal
A look back on the chain of events that led to Joe Paterno's shocking firing at Penn State, and how the university struggled to move forward in the wake of an unthinkable scandal.

Tom Bradley, Longtime Penn State Assistant, Says Good-Bye to Happy Valley
When it became clear that his days at Penn State were over, the longtime Nittany Lions assistant issued a statement to say good-bye to the school he had served for more than three decades.

The Lane Kiffin Saga
Lane Kiffin arrived at the University of Tennessee with great fanfare. He's been making headlines—and generating controversy—ever since.

The Fifth Down Game: Colorado vs. Missouri, 1990
In their 1990 national championship season, the Colorado Buffaloes caught a huge break: They got five chances, not four, to score a winning touchdown against Missouri.

The Mugging of Johnny Bright
In 1951, an African-American tailback at Drake University named Johnny Bright was literally mugged, on the field, by a defender from Oklahoma A&M University. The racially motivated incident changed college football forever.

The South Carolina-Clemson Brawl
South Carolina and Clemson had always been bitter rivals. But in 2004, a bench-clearing brawl took tainted this great game -- and sent one legendary coach out on a sour note.

SMU Gets the 'Death Penalty'
SMU football was once one of college football's glamor programs. That all came to a crashing halt in 1987, when the NCAA suspended the Mustang program for an entire season because of its "legacy of wrongdoing, deceit and rule violations."

Penn State After the Sandusky Scandal
In mid-June of 2012, former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky was convicted on an array of charges of child sexual abuse. But even with Sandusky's conviction, it was clear that Penn Stat's troubles were far from over. Here, we follow the course of events at Penn State following the Sandusky conviction.

Mike Price Scandal at Alabama
Alabama coach Mike Price was fired, after just four months on the job, over an evening at a strip club -- and a hefty room-service bill at his hotel. The embarrassing incident capped a turbulent decade for the Alabama program.

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