25 years later, Dale Hansen to return to SMU

UPDATE, Jan. 24, 2011: The Dale Hansen luncheon has been moved to the Dining Room in the Collins Executive Education Center.

Dale HansenSMU Faculty Club members are set to kick off the calendar year with an interesting choice for January’s Distinguished Luncheon Series installment: Dale Hansen, the man believed widely responsible for uncovering operations that brought about the infamous http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_penalty_(NCAA) for SMU in 1986. The lecture takes place at noon Tuesday, Jan. 25 in the Faculty Club on Daniel Avenue.

Hansen, who still holds the position of Sports Director at WFAA-TV (as he did in 1986) will give a lecture on the very topic that garnered him a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, and multiple death threats in “The SMU Death Penalty and Ongoing Resurrection.” Hansen’s reporting on the burgeoning scandal revealed that SMU had been paying players since the mid-1970s to keep up with larger-size opponents in the former Southwest Conference.

SMU, already served probation notices five times from 1974 to 1985, became the first (and to date only) college football program of any division to receive the NCAA’s “death penalty”: cancellation of the entire 1987 season, followed by an additional 1988 cancellation at the school’s request. The rest is history: one winning season in 1997 and national obscurity until the hiring of Head Coach June Jones in 2008. By the following season, SMU had earned its first bowl appearance since 1984, a 45-10 victory over Nevada in the 2009 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl.

Price per ticket is $12 for members, $15 for nonmembers. All faculty and staff are invited to attend. RSVP by Jan. 21 to Dee Powell, 214-768-3012.