<
>

Thirteen Ball St. players suspended for season opener

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.