In about a week, the University of Richmond’s baseball team will look a bit more like it was projected in the preseason. Four of five Spiders who had been suspended because of NCAA violations since opening day will be reinstated April 7, the school announced in a Thursday release.
A school spokesperson said UR will not identify the four players who will be reinstated, the fifth player who is ineligible to play until next season, or explain the reasons for their suspensions.
The Times-Dispatch reported Feb. 24 the five were suspended for their involvement with fantasy football, which is an NCAA violation. The sources said the players were reported directly to the NCAA, which contacted Richmond.
Stacey Osburn, the NCAA’s director of public and media relations, said in an email Thursday that, “According to the facts of the case submitted to the University of Richmond, the four baseball student-athletes wagered money on sporting events using gambling websites. Contrary to previous media reports, these cases did not include fantasy sports wagering.”
Before Osburn’s Thursday email, the NCAA didn’t respond to a March 22 request by The Times-Dispatch regarding information about the case’s details.
“We appreciate the efforts of our compliance department and NCAA staff in getting this matter resolved,” Keith Gill, UR’s athletics director, said in the school release. “We will continue to work with the NCAA and our compliance staff to identify strategies for our student-athletes to avoid future NCAA rules violations.”
Richmond announced Feb. 17, the day of the Spiders’ season opener, that NCAA secondary violations impacted the eligibility of five players, without identifying the infractions or the players.
The Spiders are 9-14 heading into a three-game series at home against UNC Asheville today, Saturday and Sunday. Four of the five suspended players will return for Richmond’s next A-10 series, against visiting George Washington on April 7-9.
“We look forward to having these student-athletes back on the field next week vs. George Washington,” UR coach Tracy Woodson said in the release. “Our staff is committed to complying with all NCAA rules and regulations and we will continue to work hard to educate our student-athletes about all NCAA rules.”