Northern Colorado forfeits three wins over NCAA violation

Updated: August 12, 2003, 8:03 PM ET

GREELEY, Colo. -- St. Cloud State was declared co-champions of the North Central Conference when Northern Colorado forfeited three wins from the 2002 football season Tuesday after the NCAA said the team used an ineligible player.

Bears quarterback Steve Cutlip was ineligible for academic reasons but played in four games, school spokesman Colin McDonough said.

The Division II school then held Cutlip out games, including the playoffs, as the Bears finished 12-2. At the time, school officials blamed Cutlip's problem on "unresolved paperwork issues."

Cutlip is back with the Bears this season.

"Due to the complexity of the case, we appreciate the cooperation of the NCAA in bringing this case to a close as a secondary violation," athletic director Jim Fallis said.

Northern Colorado forfeited wins over Western State, North Dakota and Minnesota State at Mankato. Cutlip also played in a loss at Montana. The record will show the games' actual scores, but the records won't include the victories.

The North Central Conference said the forfeits to North Dakota and Minnesota State mean the Bears were 6-2 in league play and the championship must be shared with St. Cloud State (6-2).

Cutlip transferred to Northern Colorado in 2001 after two years at Colorado State. While at Colorado State he was arrested four times and was suspended from the team for a season after a shoplifting arrest in August 2000.

In three games with the Bears last season, Cutlip was 26-of-43 for 431 yards and two touchdown passes. Northern Colorado lost in the national semifinals to eventual champion Grand Valley State.

The school moves to Division I-AA football this season.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index