Friday, August 15, 2003

Justice delayed 

The North Central Conference, in which SCSU plays, just announced that the University of Northern Colorado had to forfeit three wins in football because they played an ineligible player. As a result, their 8-0 conference record becomes 6-2, and they tied rather than beat SCSU.
UNC was advised by the NCAA that it committed a secondary violation by playing Cutlip, then a junior transfer from Colorado State who was academically ineligible at the time of competition. Cutlip played in four games, including one loss, before being sidelined when questions arose about his eligibility.

"Northern Colorado used a player that was eventually ruled to be eligible by the NCAA," North Central Conference commissioner Mike Marcil said. "However, the NCAA required the forfeits because the player had not yet been properly certified eligible at the time the games were played."

UNC advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs a year ago as one of four teams selected by a committee in the Central Region. St. Cloud State, which lost 27-24 to the Bears in overtime during the regular season, was not selected. ...

Marcil said it would have been better if the situation had been resolved by the time playoff teams were selected.

"They were hoping that all this could have been resolved before the season ended so the committee could have taken it into consideration," Marcil said. "It's possible they would have selected St. Cloud State or St. Cloud State and Northern Colorado. We'll just never know."

Cutlip had been arrested four times while playing at Colorado State and busted for a DUI after last season, had arrived at No. Colorado with incomplete transcripts. According to people close to the SCSU football program I have spoken with, the whole mess was not acted on because UNC didn't provide the papers to the conference office until after the season was over. The explanation from Greeley and UNC Athletic Director Jim Fallis.
We need to move forward. We self-reported our violation as soon as we realized we had a problem. We also told the NCAA that it would take some time for us to gather all the needed information, and it then takes them awhile to sort things out.
Sir, the kid practiced with your team for ten weeks after you decided you couldn't start him any more but it took you more than three months to get this kid's transcripts? And then you've got the 'nads to say this?
The Bears beat St. Cloud State 27-24 in an overtime game on the road, which Fallis feels should have been the factor in deciding the conference title.

�The bottom line is that the football team took care of its business,� Fallis said. �And it was with the same team that we took all the way to the semifinals.�

We were ranked #5 in the regional poll at the end of the season (the only other loss was a 1-point loss at Mankato); four get sent to the post-season. If UNC had lost even one of those games, is it not likely we go to the playoffs?

Northern Colorado moves up to Division I-AA this year. Good riddance.