Several Charleston Southern players — 14 to be exact — will be suspended for Saturday’s game at Florida State because of a possible NCAA violation for misuse of scholarship money in the campus bookstore.
A source confirmed the suspensions to ESPN on Friday morning after some Charleston Southern players wrote about the suspensions on their Facebook pages Thursday night. The players wrote they were being suspended for spending their scholarship money in the Charleston Southern bookstore on items other than books, such as pencils, binders, electronics and clothing.
Ariya Massoudi, the sports editor of the Florida State student newspaper, broke the story via Facebook posts from Charleston Southern players. Running back Ben Robinson wrote, “We would have (leftover) book money and the workers in the bookstore advised us to spend the money because we would not get it back, so we did.”
From Charleston Southern running back Ben Robinson's Facebook page. pic.twitter.com/mXpov7b4ec— Ariya Massoudi (@AriyaMassoudi) September 9, 2016
Offensive lineman Frank Cirone said the entire offensive line is being suspended, adding the players will have to pay back the money they used.
Wow. Per Charleston Southern Offensive Lineman Frank Cirone, the entire offensive line is suspended vs. FSU. pic.twitter.com/g6uCqfFRR0— Ariya Massoudi (@AriyaMassoudi) September 9, 2016
NCAA rule 220.127.116.11 titled “Dollar Limit” states: “There is no dollar limit for books a student-athlete may receive, provided each book is required for a course in which the student-athlete is enrolled. The institution may provide the student-athlete with cash to purchase books, as long as the amount of cash provided is equal to the actual cost of the books purchased.”
Wide receiver Colton Korn wrote that the suspensions are “taking away some seniors’ shots to impress NFL scouts and hurting our image as men who have done our best to change the entire image of a program that was nothing short of a joke when we first got here.”
More insight from Charleston Southern Wide Receiver Colton Korn's Facebook post. pic.twitter.com/CGn1Jo7NER— Ariya Massoudi (@AriyaMassoudi) September 9, 2016
Charleston Southern athletic director Hank Small said last week: “The rules regarding scholarship and book money are explicit on what the monies can be spent on. This is covered in our own student-athlete handbook. It only came to light recently that we may have some issues to clear up. We have to be sure there are no difficulties down the line in regards to having ineligible athletes participate.”
Charleston Southern head coach Jamey Chadwell will serve a one-game suspension Oct. 8 imposed by the school for a potential NCAA violation due to the use of social media for recruiting.
Charleston Southern, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school, lost 24-17 in overtime at North Dakota State on Aug. 27 and defeated Division II Kentucky State 57-7 last Saturday.