Southern Methodist University

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Southern Methodist University
City: University Park, Texas
Type: Private
Sports: basketball, cross country, equestrian, football, golf, rowing, soccer, swim and dive, tennis, track and field, volleyball[1]
Colors: red, blue
Mascot: Peruna (Mustangs)

Southern Methodist University (or SMU) is a Texas private university founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.[2] The school ranked #67 in US News's 2008 "National Universities: Top Schools" list.[3]


The school was founded by what is now the United Methodist Church (though it now only has nominal ties to them).[2] It opened its doors in 1915.[2] On February 22, 2008, the school was chosen as the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center - the presidential library - partly because First Lady Laura Bush was an alumna.[4]


The SMU football program has won 4 bowl games (while losing 6) and 1 national championship.[5] However, its football program was also the center of one of the largest scandals in NCAA history, the "Pony Express" scandal claiming illegal payments to players, resulting in the school receiving the "death penalty" for one year.[6]

In addition the basketball team under former coach Dave Bliss was accused of illegal payments; the scandal was uncovered while Bliss was under investigation for his cover-up of similar payments at Baylor University, ultimately resulting in his forced resignation at Baylor and his essentially being blackballed from NCAA coaching.


  1. The Official Site of SMU Athletics (English). Southern Methodist University.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 SMU Facts (English). Southern Methodist University.
  3. National Universities: Top Schools (English). US News.
  4. Anna Driver (2008-02-22). SMU chosen as site for Bush's presidential library (English). Reuters.
  5. SMU FOOTBALL HISTORY DATABASE (English). National Champs.
  6. In NCAA terminology this meant the team could not play any games for one year; the penalties in the following year were so severe that the school voluntarily chose not to play for that year as well. The program has never recovered from the scandal.