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NCAA punishes Boise State

College sports: The NCAA placed Boise State on probation for three years and imposed other sanctions Tuesday for major violations by the football program and other sports.

The sanctions included a public reprimand, a one-year postseason ban for women’s tennis and recruiting restrictions and scholarship reductions.

Some of the penalties had previously been self-imposed by the university. Boise State’s football program will be able to offer three fewer scholarships each year, from 85 to 82, through the 2013-14 season. The football team will also be allowed fewer contact practices during spring training for three years.

Gregory Sankey, associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference and a member of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, said the committee opted to go beyond the penalties that Boise State imposed on itself because the violations took place over multiple years.

Boise State President Bob Kustra said Boise State’s rapid growth over the last decade, from an upstart Division II program into a perennial Top 25 team, likely outstripped the school’s capacity to keep tabs on compliance with NCAA rules. Kustra, who fired former athletic director Gene Bleymaier in August, said he’d hoped the self-imposed sanctions would have been enough to avoid probation.

Broncos football coach Chris Petersen (in photo) said he, too, thought the school had done enough to show NCAA officials it had addressed the problems.

“I was surprised by the findings. I am also disappointed,” said Petersen, adding that he doesn’t think the NCAA announcement will distract the fourth-ranked Broncos from preparations for their game against Toledo on Friday.

Associated Press

Djokovic earns record money

Tennis: Novak Djokovic’s 64-2 record in 2011 has earned him a record amount of prize money.

Djokovic’s U.S. Open championship – his third Grand Slam title of the year – pushed his earnings past $10.6 million, more than anyone has taken home during a full season of men’s tennis, according to the ATP World Tour.

The only other men to come close were Rafael Nadal in 2010 and Roger Federer in 2007; they completed those years with a little less than $10.2 million.

Associated Press