Penalty hits Prairie View women's hoops

January 9, 2008 2:42:30 PM PST
Prairie View A&M women's basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke says she's "relieved" that the NCAA has granted a lenient penalty for violations in her program. The former Houston Comets star says the violations were mistakes "made by a rookie coach with no previous NCAA experience and not very familiar with the NCAA rules."

The NCAA ordered the Panthers to cut the number of women's basketball scholarships from 15 to 12 for the next three years.

The program also was placed on four years' probation for "major violations" in 2005-06. They ranged from Cooper-Dyke giving players small amounts of cash to various forms of unauthorized practices.

Prairie View President George C. Wright says the school is working to implement corrective actions.

The university imposed two penalties itself: Reducing practice hours allowed each week from 20 to 10 for the first three weeks of this season and reducing the number of official paid visits from four to two for 2007-08.

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