Tide Could Lose 21 Games

Sources: ESPN.com news services

The NCAA will reveal later Thursday that the Alabama football program must vacate victories from 2005 through 2007 that included players who improperly got free textbooks for other students, the Birmingham News is reporting.

Alabama could be forced to vacate as many as 21 wins under the watch of former coach Mike Shula and current coach Nick Saban, sources at the university told ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach. Citing a source, the News reported the number of wins to be at least 10.

The Crimson Tide will not lose future scholarships, according to the News. The university also will be placed on three years’ probation and ordered to pay a fine, the newspaper reported.

The NCAA alleges the violations began at the start of the 2005 season; the university reported the violations after uncovering them during the ’07 football season, when starting linemen Antoine Caldwell and Marlon Davis, running back Glen Coffee and defensive backs Chris Rogers and Marquis Johnson were suspended prior to kickoff against Tennessee. They were suspended four games and reinstated by the NCAA before the Bama-Auburn game and the Tide’s bowl game against Colorado at the end of the season.

Under NCAA rules, the players would be ruled ineligible when they first received the “extra benefits” and would have been ineligible until they were suspended and reinstated.

The university appeared before the Committee on Infractions in February and admitted that infractions occurred in several sports and that it didn’t adequately monitor its distribution of textbooks to athletes.

It is not clear which additional sports programs at Alabama are affected. The NCAA’s ruling will be announced at 3 p.m. ET Thursday.