FORT WORTH, Texas -- Texas and Texas A&M purchased nearly $120,000 in dietary supplements containing ingredients banned by the NCAA for their student-athletes, according to a published report.
Between fall 2000 and spring 2004, the athletic department purchased 21 products containing certain muscle-building ingredients and substances forbidden by the NCAA, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in its Sunday edition.
The newspaper discovered the purchases through school invoices and documents obtained under the Texas Public Information Act.
David Batson, Texas A&M director of athletic compliance, said the school was not aware that banned ingredients were being purchased until after reviewing records requested by the Star-Telegram.
Batson said he was unaware of any positive drug tests or adverse health issues related to the purchases.
Texas is trying to see if its purchases containing added amino acids -- a muscle-building ingredient -- were made in error, said Tina Bonci, the school's co-director of sports medicine and athletic training.
An NCAA bylaw enacted in August 2000 prohibits schools from giving student-athletes supplements containing certain muscle-building ingredients and substances.
One of the products purchased by Texas A&M, weight-loss supplement MNS Gold, contains synephrine. It is a substance similar to ephedra, the stimulant that has been linked to more than 150 deaths and was taken off the shelves by the federal government in 2003.
Most of the products purchased by Texas A&M were ordered by Mike Clark, who served as the university's assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning before taking a job with the Seattle Seahawks last year.
Clark told the Star-Telegram that he gave the supplements with banned ingredients to student-athletes at Texas A&M. He said he stopped ordering the products when he learned they were banned and removed them from the shelves.
Texas spent nearly $90,000 on supplements labeled as containing added amino acids, the newspaper reported. Among those who made the purchases was Jeff Madden, the school's assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning.
Madden said he ordered the energy drink Jacked, which contains caffeine, but didn't distribute it to student-athletes after learning that it was not allowed.
Bonci said that school personnel believed they were within the rules in purchasing the products containing the added amino acids because of correspondence from a member of the NCAA's membership services staff, Steve Mallonee, describing the products as permissible soon after the bylaw went into effect.
But Mallonee told the Star-Telegram that his approval was based strictly on information submitted by the university, which sought a review of the products based on their percentages of protein and not their actual ingredients.
Under NCAA rules, schools may dispense only four categories of supplements: vitamins and minerals, energy bars, carbohydrate/electrolyte drinks and carbohydrate boosters. The supplements must have a protein content of less than 30 percent and be free of banned substances, as well as certain ingredients defined by the NCAA as muscle-building.
The purchases by Texas and Texas A&M are similar to those Texas Tech acknowledged ordering in a report to the NCAA in February. In its report, Texas Tech revealed it purchased more than a dozen supplements containing the banned ingredients during a 30-month period.