Eight Wichita State University baseball players will serve suspensions for receipt of improper benefits, the NCAA told Wichita State on Friday. More players were involved in the improper receipt of benefits but the NCAA said that they paid for such a small amount of stuff that it was not worthy of a suspension. The suspensions do not have to be served right away but Eyewitness Sports was told that all the position players are expected to start their suspensions immediately.
The list of suspended players is as follows:
Tyler Baker, Garrett Brummet (scheduled to start on Sunday)
Cale Elam (still scheduled to start on Friday, will start suspension after that)
Foster Vielock, Dayne Parker, Kris Gardner, Erik Harbutz and Drew Palmer.
The pitchers will serve their suspensions based on games and not starts.
The following is the press release sent out today by the university:
The NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement staff notified the University this morning that its eligibility reinstatement request on behalf of its baseball student-athletes was granted. Earlier this winter, the University declared sixteen baseball student-athletes ineligible for competition as a result of their receipt of discounted merchandise from an athletics equipment and apparel supplier.
In addition, the student-athletes will be required to be withheld from varying levels of intercollegiate competition correlating to the amount of the benefits received. Based on the arguments submitted by the University, the NCAA deviated from its standard penalty structure and granted reduced withholdings in this case.
“We feel the outcome is fair,” stated Director of Athletics Eric Sexton. “We have been working cooperatively with the NCAA national office since we first discovered that we had potential eligibility issues. Now that those issues appear to be resolved, we will continue to work with the NCAA in bringing any remaining issues related to this situation to resolution.”
“We are finally coming to a conclusion regarding our investigation by the NCAA,” said Wichita State head baseball coach Todd Butler. “This has been a long and exhausting three-month process and I would like to credit Wichita State University for its tireless work to lighten the toll on our program. Without the dedication and support of our administration, we would not have had such a quick turnaround for our student-athletes and program. Our goal is to always follow the rules and regulations of the NCAA and to represent Wichita State University with character and class. Although this has been an unfortunate situation for all involved, we look forward to the challenge of the process. The Shocker players and program will overcome and move on to the upcoming 2014 season.”
Eight players will be withheld from competition including three position players and five pitchers. Games missed will be three, six or nine depending on the player.
Wichita State University opens its 2014 baseball season on Friday, February 14, 2014, with a series against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.