1998 SMU Mustangs football team
The 1998 SMU Mustangs football team represented Southern Methodist University in the 1998 NCAA Division I-A football season as members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in the Mountain Division. They played their home games at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Head coach Mike Cavan returned for his second season leading SMU, following a 6–5 season in 1997, SMU's first winning season since the 1987–88 SMU "death penalty" was handed down by the NCAA, the highest punishment possible in the association. SMU finished the season 5–7 (4–4 WAC), but SMU vacated 10 games after Steve Malin was found to have been ineligible due to academic fraud.
|1998 SMU Mustangs football|
|Conference||Western Athletic Conference|
|1998 record||1–1, 4 wins vacated (0–1 WAC, 4 wins vacated)|
|Head coach||Mike Cavan (2nd season)|
|Offensive coordinator||Greg Briner (1st season)|
|Defensive coordinator||Eric Schumann (2nd season)|
|Home stadium||Cotton Bowl (c. 68,252)|
|1998 WAC football standings|
|No. 13 Air Force x$||7||–||1||12||–||1|
|San Diego State x||7||–||1||7||–||5|
|San Jose State||3||–||5||4||–||8|
|Championship: Air Force 20, BYU 13|
Rankings from AP Poll
|1998 SMU Mustangs football team roster|
|Mike Cavan||Head coach||2||Georgia (1972)|
|Warren Belin||Linebackers, assistant recruiting coordinator||2||Wake Forest (1990)|
|Greg Briner||Offensive coordinator, quarterbacks||1||USC (1972)|
|Derek Dooley||Wide receivers, assistant recruiting coordinator||2||Virginia (1991)|
|Troy Douglas||Defensive backs||2||Appalachian State (1988)|
|Paul Etheridge||Tight ends, offensive tackles||2||Georgia (1993)|
|Steve Malin||Defensive line||5||East Texas State (1993)|
|David McKnight||Running backs||2||Georgia (1969)|
|Eric Schumann||Assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, secondary||2||Alabama (1977)|
|Randy Williams||Centers, guards, recruiting coordinator||2||Valdosta State (1991)|
|September 5||7:00 p.m.||at Rice||L 17–23 (vacated)||42,674|
|September 12||7:00 p.m.||Tulane*||L 21–31||12,316|
|September 19||6:00 p.m.||at Arkansas*||L 17–44 (vacated)||55,544|
|September 26||2:00 p.m.||Ole Miss*||L 41–48 (vacated) OT||22,281|
|October 3||11:00 p.m.||at Hawaii||W 28–0 (vacated)||25,912|
|October 10||2:00 p.m.||at Wyoming||L 7–12 (vacated)||15,504|
|October 17||2:00 p.m.||TCU||W 10–6 (vacated)||26,360|
|October 24||2:00 p.m.||UNLV||W 10–7 (vacated)||16,073|
|October 31||1:00 p.m.||at Air Force||L 7–31 (vacated)||30,053|
|November 7||2:00 p.m.||Tulsa||W 33–3 (vacated)||11,143|
|November 14||2:00 p.m.||Colorado State||L 10–32||21,133|
|November 21||11:00 a.m.||at Navy*||KLDT||W 24–11||27,487|
After the seasonEdit
Two members of the 1998 SMU squad were selected in the 1999 NFL Draft. Defensive back Donald Mitchell was selected in the fourth round and 117th overall by the Tennessee Titans. Defensive back Coby Rhinehart was selected in the sixth round and 190th overall by the Arizona Cardinals.
Steve Malin controversyEdit
Twelve years after the NCAA "death penalty" that caused the SMU football program to shut down for two years, SMU encountered another scandal. SMU notified the NCAA of possible recruiting violations in early August 1999 and subsequently suspended defensive line coach Steve Malin. On November 7, 1999, The Dallas Morning News reported that former SMU football player Corlin Donaldson alleged that Malin paid another person $100 to take Donaldson's ACT exam in 1998 so that Donaldson would be eligible to attend SMU. Although Donaldson described this account to NCAA investigators, Donaldson recanted this story under pressure from Malin to save Malin's job. Following an internal investigation, SMU fired Malin on December 8, 1999; Malin had been suspended that year since August 3 without a replacement at his position. Additionally, SMU removed one assistant coach from recruiting roles for the 2000 season, reduced a total of 8 scholarships for the 2000 and 2001 seasons, and reduced a total of 16 official campus visits for high school recruits for those seasons as well. SMU also submitted a report to the NCAA.
On December 13, 2000, the NCAA placed SMU on two years' probation and vacated ten games from SMU's 1998 season in which Donaldson played, which reduced SMU's record to 1-1 for 1998. SMU's 2005 media guide indicates that the NCAA vacated the first ten games of the 1998 season. The NCAA reported that its infractions committee "concluded that the assistant football coach [Malin] initially suggested that the prospective student-athlete [Donaldson] should participate in academic fraud, actively assisted in the initial fraudulent ACT, had actual knowledge of the fraud in the second ACT and finally, had reason to know that the prospect, after enrolling at the university and becoming a student-athlete, was ineligible to compete by reason of the academic fraud." Additionally, the NCAA also discovered rules violations regarding recruiting and tryouts dating back to 1995. The NCAA also extended SMU's self-imposed restrictions on coaches' off-campus recruiting to the 2001 season and limited official visits for high school recruits to 38 for the 2001–02 school year. Malin also was assessed a seven-year show-cause penalty.
- Due to NCAA sanctions, SMU had 4 regular season wins and 6 regular season losses vacated for the 1998 season. SMU's pre-sanctions record was 5–7 (4–4 WAC). The "official" record now is 1–1.
- Whitmire, Keith (August 7, 1999). "SMU suspends assistant". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on November 19, 2001. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- Valadie, Josie. "Ex-SMU player says coach urged him to cheat on test". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on January 6, 2002. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- "SMU dismisses coach, imposes sanctions after independent investigation of rules violations". Southern Methodist University. December 8, 1999. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- "Southern Methodist University Public Infractions Report". NCAA. December 13, 2000. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- "Records and Results" (PDF). SMU Football 2005 Media Guide. p. 147. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- Cash, Rana (December 14, 2000). "NCAA slaps SMU with additional sanctions". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on January 24, 2001. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- 1998 SMU stats at Sports-Reference.com