University of Minnesota athletics officially off probation

MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota athletic
department is officially off probation.

The department -- which faced wide-ranging penalties as
punishment for the academic cheating scandal in the men's
basketball program under then-coach Clem Haskins -- was informed in
a letter from the NCAA dated Dec. 11 that the probation period was
over, director of compliance Frank Kara confirmed Tuesday.

"Leave it behind us, move on, and hopefully keep doing things
the right way," Kara said.

The original punishment had been extended by two years for rules
violations committed in the women's basketball program under
then-coach Cheryl Littlejohn.

The biggest setbacks for the Gophers included limited
scholarships and the removal of all acknowledgments of and
references to games played by the team between 1993 and 1998,
including an appearance in the Final Four in 1997.