NCAA bylaws prohibit sports wagering of any kind by student-athletes. Sports wagering includes any pool where an entry fee is required and the possibility of winning prizes exists. The BSU baseball players were allegedly involved in a $5 entry-fee and an online NCAA Tournament bracket pool. However, the University's investigation found that no money had changed hands and, at the time the pool was discovered, the NCAA Tournament had not yet begun.
BSU baseball coaches had no knowledge of the pool's existence prior to notification by the NCAA.
In light of the findings, BSU, along with the NCAA, has handed down a two-game suspension and 20 hours of community service for the student- athletes involved.
The suspensions will be served during the 2008 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener, which is a four-game series versus the University of Minnesota, Crookston on Mar. 20-21. The community service commitment will be completed this spring.
"After the investigation by Bemidji State and the NCAA, we are confident that this was an unintentional and isolated violation of NCAA rules," commented BSU's NCAA Compliance Coordinator Mike Curfman. "We're glad it was brought forward before the tournament began. We will use the incident as a reminder to all of our student-athletes and coaches about the NCAA's rules on sports wagering."