Thirteen Ball St. players suspended for season opener

Updated: September 2, 2005, 8:33 PM ET
Associated Press

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Thirteen Ball State players, more than half of them projected starters, were suspended for Saturday's season-opening game at No. 11 Iowa in a continuing investigation of NCAA violations.

The university said Friday that 43 athletes in six sports improperly used a book loan program to obtain textbooks not required for their own courses or received improperly obtained textbooks from other players.

The violations were discovered last spring and were reported to the NCAA, which has not yet taken action.

The football players, and three volleyball players who also were suspended, are the only athletes identified by the university, so far.

"As soon as we became aware of irregularities with book loans for a few student-athletes for the 2004-05 academic year through regular business review, we chose to examine the records for all 186 student-athletes who received financial aid for books that year," athletic director Bubba Cunningham said.

He said the NCAA reviewed a report by Ball State this summer and recommended expanding the investigation to previous years and with different types of records.

"We are working as quickly as we can to move ahead on their recommendations," Cunningham said.

The football players suspended for Saturday's game include the top returning rusher from last season, Charles Wynn, and the top returning receiver, Bryan Williamson. Others listed as starters on the Cardinals' pre-game depth chart are defensive ends Cortlan Booker and Temidayo Macarthy, defensive backs David Gater and Randell Means, defensive tackle Tom Kellar, offensive guard Justin Schneider.

Also suspended were linebackers Donta Smith and David Denham, receiver Louis Johnson, defensive end Amara Koroma and defensive back Lavell Mosley.

Ball State also suspended volleyball players Stephanie Bacan, Rachel Refenes and Kristin Westhof for the Michigan State Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.

Since the violations were discovered, Cunningham said, the university has tightened its policies on book loans, including a separate checkout counter for athletes.

Under the book loan program, athletes whose financial aid covers books for required courses receive books on loan from the university at the beginning of the semester. The books are returned to the bookstore at the end of the semester.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press