M officials said Thursday that coach Dennis Franchione will be admonished for a secretive for-pay newsletter sent to boosters and that the school will report possible violations related to the newsletter to the NCAA.
The school ordered the coach to shut down his Web site - CoachFran.com - and will issue a ``letter of admonishment.''
Athletic director Bill Byrne said he'll consider the newsletter when he evaluates Franchione at the end of the season. Franchione's $2 million per year contract runs through 2012.
``This will be part of his performance review,'' Byrne said. ``The Aggies are embarrassed right now. This has been a very unfortunate incident we did not want to experience.''
M hired a consulting firm to investigate about two weeks ago, after Franchione admitted he provided the information in a newsletter called the ``VIP Connection.''
``My guess is there was an attempt to keep it from us,'' Byrne said. ``I think the whole thing started as something well-intended, to keep a number of people who were good donors to the university forever informed about things that were going on. It just got out of control.''
M fans in a statement released after Byrne met with reporters. He also tried to explain himself.
``I was trying to keep some loyal Aggies informed on our program in greater detail throughout the year,'' he said. ``Please do not blame them. They were only trying to support our program.''
Franchione said he was turning his attention to Saturday's game at Texas Tech and would not comment further on the newsletter.
M's compliance officer, said he did not expect the NCAA to penalize the program with sanctions, though he wouldn't rule it out.
``I think the actions taken by the institution will suffice,'' Batson said. ``But ultimately, that's a decision by the NCAA.''
M.''
M employee, though Byrne was unaware if Franchione was still employing him in some capacity.
The school pointed out three areas where possible violations occurred:
M income generated through his Web site or from the VIP Connection. The school said Franchione thought he did not have to report the income until he actually received the proceeds that exceeded expenses incurred for maintaining the Web site.
M said McKenzie was paid by Franchione.
-The VIP Connection occasionally contained information about prospective student-athletes. The NCAA prohibits a school from commenting publicly on recruits until they sign letters of intent.
-The school suggested that Franchione violated Big 12 Conference standards of sportsmanship.
Batson said neither Franchione nor McKenzie were aware of newsletter recipients using the information for gambling.
The school released a list of 23 recipients of the VIP Connection, including Franchione's wife, Kim, and their oldest daughter, Ashley.
M.
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