NCAA suspends Bradley basketball players

PEORIA, Ill. -- Two Bradley basketball players were
suspended by the NCAA on Tuesday for getting paid for work they
didn't perform while on their summer jobs.
Two other players also accused of being paid for work they
didn't do were forced to repay the money.
Center Patrick O'Bryant was suspended for eight games and point
guard Will Franklin must sit out six games. The suspensions were
handed down Monday and the school appealed the move. The NCAA
Student-Athlete Reinstatement Division upheld the decision on
Tuesday, the university said.
The school said the players inadvertently violated the NCAA's
extra-benefit rule.
Athletic director Ken Kavanagh said he was disappointed in the
``We certainly accept the responsibility for compliance with
NCAA rules and regulations and need to enhance our summer
employment monitoring procedures, but in no way do we believe that
this result warranted this response,'' Kavanagh said in a
Bradley coach Jim Les said the NCAA system failed O'Bryant and
Franklin and insisted the infraction was inadvertent.
``This is not a case of anyone acting in an unethical manner,
yet the kids are being punished as if they had,'' he said.
Bradley (1-0) plays Chicago State on Saturday.
NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said O'Bryant received a total
of $1,100 for work he did not do over the summer. For eight weeks,
he was paid $400 a week regardless of whether he showed up for
Meanwhile, Franklin was paid more than $40 an hour for a job
that should have paid only about $12 an hour, Christianson said. He
did not know where any of the players worked.
The school told the NCAA that two other basketball players also
were paid for work not performed, but the infractions were deemed
to be less serious, he said.
Those two other players, who have not been named because they
were not suspended, were ordered to repay the money, Christianson
O'Bryant, who is listed at 7-feet, 260 pounds, averaged 10
points and 7.4 rebounds a game last season for the Braves. He did
not play on Saturday when Bradley beat DePaul 75-60.
O'Bryant said he felt bad about the situation.
``I know how hard the guys are working and I will do my best to
support them,'' he said of his teammates.
The eight-game suspension means O'Bryant will not be eligible
for competition until the Braves open their Missouri Valley
Conference schedule on Dec. 28 against Northern Iowa.
``This is obviously a tough situation and we (O'Bryant and
Franklin) are sorry that our teammates have to go through this,''
Franklin said. ``We will do our best to be there for the team off
the floor until we can join them.''
Franklin, a transfer student who is a junior, is listed at
6-feet, 180 pounds. He'll be out until Dec. 17.