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Newswire

March 18, 1986

University of Houston football players routinely used the athletic department telephones to make long-distance calls, a violation of NCAA rules, a former player told a Houston newspaper.

"You weren't supposed to, but nobody knew who you were calling," James Holmes, a former defensive end, said. "If you were calling home or just across town, nobody knew. Everybody used it. But that's a pretty minor thing compared to paying players."

Holmes' comments, reported by the Houston Chronicle, followed disclosures over the weekend by the Houston Post, which reported that former football players received thousands of dollars in cash and were allowed to remain in school even after having been suspended. Such incidents would violate NCAA rules.

Two former wide receivers--David Roberson and Lonell Phea--who played in the late 1970s and early 1980s, have signed affidavits stating that they received more than $26,000 between them, including some from head coach Bill Yeoman and his assistants, over a four-year period, the Post reported.

The university will conduct an independent, outside investigation into the allegations, sports information director Jay Goldberg said.

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