Is the SEC the dirtiest conference?

Allegations did surface but no formal NCAA charges have been filed against Cam Newton. (The Associated Press)

Published: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 12:09 a.m. conducted a poll Monday, asking which conference was the dirtiest in college football.

By 8 p.m., the verdict was clear. The Southeastern Conference garnered 66 percent of more than 30,000 votes. No other major conference had more than 15 percent.

Is it justified? Consider that two of the major college football scandals in the past five years have involved Ohio State (a Big Ten school) and USC (a Pac 12 school). North Carolina, from the ACC, might not be too far behind. The Tar Heels program was recently slapped with nine NCAA violations, allegations ranging from academic fraud to failure to monitor player off field activities to unethical ties between assistant coaches and NFL agents.

The SEC had an issue last season with former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who was quietly declared ineligible by the NCAA one day only to be declared eligible the day after that. Allegations surfaced that Newton's father, through a third party, attempted to sell his son's services to former SEC rival Mississippi State. But no formal NCAA charges have been filed against Newton, who led Auburn to a 2010 BCS title.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive made it his mandate when he took the job to get and keep programs off NCAA probation. Alabama had a textbook scandal on campus that forced the school to vacate wins under former coach Mike Shula. But other than that, schools in the conference have remained fairly clean under Slive's watch.

So is the SEC a dirty football conference? What are your thoughts?

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