Five University of Richmond baseball players, including two of the team's stars, have been suspended for fantasy football involvement that led to NCAA violations, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Saturday.
Senior infielder Kurtis Brown, a first-team Atlantic 10 pick last season, and junior pitcher Keenan Bartlett, a strong professional prospect, were among the five players suspended, the RTD reported. Neither has played this season.
These players will remain ineligible until the NCAA has determined any punishment and completed the reinstatement process. A decision is expected to come down sometime this week or next.
The University of Richmond announced last Friday that five baseball players were currently ineligible because of NCAA secondary violations, but declined to offer any further details. Kristen Litchfield, assistant director of athletic public relations for the team, wrote in an email to The Collegian: “I (or anyone else) in the athletic department will not give the identity of the individuals involved. Nor will we disclose the specific violation."
Although the athletic department is rigid in their decision not to disclose further information, a spokesman for the university did tell the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the five all committed the same violation. Under NCAA rules, schools are required to investigate and report their own incidents, which Richmond said it did in an official statement last week.
The NCAA prohibits student-athletes from gambling. The rule states: “You are not eligible to compete if you knowingly participate in any sports wagering activity that involves intercollegiate, amateur or professional athletics, through a bookmaker, a parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling. Examples of sports wagering include, but are not limited to, the use of a bookmaker or parlay card; Internet sports wagering; auctions in which bids are placed on teams, individuals or contests; and pools or fantasy leagues in which an entry fee is required."
As the players arrive at a week of ineligibility, they have missed all five games in the season thus far, which kicked off with an 8–5 loss to defending national champion Coastal Carolina. Their first home series of the season started Friday with a 6–4 loss to Toledo. The team currently sits 2-3 and has yet to begin conference play.
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