James Says He Took 'Insignificant' Gifts From Boosters

James admits accepting the gifts was wrong

Friday, Jan 13, 2012  |  Updated 11:31 AM CDT
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James Admits to Taking Gifts at SMU

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Former SMU player and ESPN analyst Craig James.

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U.S. Senate candidate Craig James says he accepted an "insignificant amount" in money and gifts from Southern Methodist University football boosters while a star running back at SMU during the 1980s.

James, who was a prominent player in the Mustangs' "Pony Express" offense during the early 1980s, told reporters at a news conference Thursday that accepting the gifts "was wrong." He blamed it on being an immature 18- and 19-year-old.

The former ESPN college football analyst also denied any responsibility for the NCAA rules violations that led to the suspension of the Mustangs' entire 1987 football season. James was never directly implicated in the NCAA transgressions.

James is also known for filing a complaint of mistreatment of his son Adam that led to Mike Leach being fired from Texas Tech.

He also argued that the voting public isn't interested in his collegiate athletic career, but rather in his stand on issues.

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