An enforcer for the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. said the University of Illinois' football program missed by nine months the stiffest penalty--suspension of operations for a year--because of a series of recruiting violations that led to this week's resignation of Coach Mike White.
The "death penalty," enacted Sept. 1, 1985, shut down the SMU football program last year. But David Berst, the NCAA's director of enforcement, said the Illinois infractions came in January 1985. The most serious involved a former assistant coach allegedly paying the hotel accommodations of a prospective athlete.
Four of the misdeeds involved the recruiting of Texas high school star Hart Lee Dykes, now at Oklahoma State, whose athletic director, Myron Roderick, said he won't investigate reports that Dykes was involved in the violations at Illinois.