Update:Charleston Southern head coach Jamey Chadwell has announced '14 or 15' key players will not participate in tomorrow's game.
About a week ago today, word broke that Charleston Southern head coach Jamey Chadwell had been suspended for a future game for a level III NCAA violation, and an unnamed defensive assistant would be suspended for the Florida State game.
This morning, word is that up to 30 players - including the entire offensive line - are being suspended by the NCAA for the Florida State game this weekend, and the reason why is sure to ruffle some feathers.
According to what players have shared via social media, the suspensions stem from how they spent scholarship money at the bookstore.
As offensive lineman Frank Cirone explains:
"Every athlete on scholarship receives an amount of money to spend toward their books for the semester. However, if you had any left over money, the CSU bookstore advised us to spend it on other things inside the book store before the school took the money back. So we bough pencils, papers, notebooks, and electronics. Unknowingly, this is an NCAA violation. About three weeks ago, a good 40+ athletes were brought into a room and were told the following on a sheet of paper. In order to play college football every again, one must sign this sheet of paper agreeing to pay X amount of money. This X amount of money is not final and may change. The X amount of money was the amount of book money one spent in the book store. Angered, we all signed the paper. As we begun season, the NCAA started suspensions on each and every player involved in this nonsense."
Really? That's a legit reason to suspend kids now? And not only that, they have to pay the money they spent on binders, notebooks, etc. back. That ranks right up there with the old NCAA violation for providing cream cheese for bagels on recruiting visits. Just absurd.
Below are a few more accounts of the story, including Cirone's full take.
Regardless of where you stand on how scholarship football players spent their money at the school bookstore, suspending 30 kids for one game seems dangerous, especially when they're set to play a national title contender in the Seminoles.
Mark Schlabach points out that FCS teams have 63 scholarship players, 2 CSU QBs are currently hurt, so if you suspend 30 kids, CSU walks into the game with 30 dudes...and without their entire offensive line.
Something tells me not all kids will serve their suspension immediately, and some will eventually have to miss conference games instead of the non-conference tilt against Florida State in Tallahassee. If the NCAA is serious about holding some kids feet to the fire for buying school supplies with their own scholarship money, and player safety, there's no way suspending 30 kids for a single game, especially this one, makes any sense.
Seems like a pretty silly reason to suspend half of the roster, but nothing surprises me anymore with the NCAA and these kind of shenanigans.