Eastern Washington to Appeal Postseason Ban

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Eastern Washington will appeal an NCAA ban on postseason play by its football team this coming season.

Athletic director Bill Chaves said in a news release Saturday
that Eastern will appeal only the postseason ban - not the other
penalties levied by the NCAA earlier this month. Most of those
penalties were self-imposed after EWU reported violations to the
NCAA in 2007.

Among the violations were allowing ineligible athletes to
practice, having too many assistant coaches and failure to properly
monitor the team.

Chaves said the appeal process will take several months.

The postseason ban was issued by the NCAA on Feb. 11, after a
two-year review of secondary rule violations involving the EWU
football team from 2003-07. Together, they led to a major
infractions case.

The NCAA also placed EWU on three years of probation, from
2009-2012. During that time, EWU will be required to file
additional compliance reports with the NCAA. Eastern was also
penalized two scholarships and had limits placed on recruiting and
coaching.

The violations occurred under former coach Paul Wulff, now the
coach at Washington State. Under the NCAA penalties, Wulff cannot
have any contact with the Washington State football team during the
first three days of practice this season.

Wulff has taken responsibility for the infractions, but also
said they are the kinds of violations that occur when a program is
too cash-strapped to afford full-time compliance officers.

Eastern Washington is a Football Championship Subdivision team
in the Big Sky Conference, and has often made the playoffs in
recent years.

Wulff and others initially expressed dismay that the postseason
ban would penalize current players for past actions.

Acting school president John Mason said when the ban was
announced he was "disappointed with the decision to levy a
postseason ban and will be assessing our appeal options."

Paul Dee, chair of the NCAA committee on infractions, has said
it's unavoidable that current players suffer when a program is
punished for past violations.

Eastern officials say new monitoring systems and resources for
coaches have been created that will prevent such problems in the
future.


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