FLORENCE, Ala. – Henry Lee Parker, who played a role in the SMU football scandal that resulted in the NCAA shutting down its football program for two seasons, has died. He was 88.
Richard Gillespie, pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Florence, said Parker died June 2 and his funeral was held Friday.
Parker was the assistant athletic director at SMU. He lost his job in the wake of a pay-for-players scandal that wiped out SMU's 1987 and 1988 football seasons. A report showed SMU paid more than $860,000 to end the contracts of former athletic director Bob Hitch, former football coach Bobby Collins and Parker.
Before going into coaching and athletic administration, Parker flew bomber missions during World War II. His football career included stints as an assistant at Mississippi State, Tennessee and Pittsburgh.