University of Richmond players will be back in action; one remains suspended until 2018
Legal Sports Report

College Baseball Players Return To Field After Suspension Related To Sports Betting

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Correction: The initial version of this story noted earlier reporting that the violations of the Richmond baseball players involved fantasy sports, which the NCAA today said is not the case.

Four of the five University of Richmond baseball players suspended for an NCAA violation related to sports betting will return to the field next week.

Earlier, reports had said the violations had to do with fantasy sports. However, a source with the NCAA disputed those reports in a statement to Legal Sports Report:

According to the facts of the case submitted the University of Richmond, the four baseball student-athletes wagered money on sporting events using gambling websites. Contrary to previous media reports, these cases did not include fantasy sports.

College players back in action

One of the five players will not return until the 2018 season, according to the UR athletic department. The university did not identify which player will continue to sit out. It’s also unclear how that player’s violations differed from the other four players.

The four reinstated players will be eligible to compete beginning with the home series vs. George Washington on April 7.

“We appreciate the efforts of our compliance department and NCAA staff in getting this matter resolved,” Athletic Director Keith Gill said. “We will continue to work with the NCAA and our compliance staff to identify strategies for our student-athletes to avoid future NCAA rules violations.”

In February, the NCAA suspended five players for violating NCAA rules. The rules in question had to do with the NCAA barring athletes from fantasy sports play, the Richmond Times-Dispatch had reported earlier.

More of Richmond’s statement

Here is some more of Thursday’s statement from UR athletics:

“We look forward to having these student-athletes back on the field next week vs. George Washington,” Head Coach Tracy Woodson said. “Our staff is committed to complying with all NCAA rules and regulations and we will continue to work hard to educate our student-athletes about all NCAA rules.”

The University of Richmond is committed to complying with all NCAA rules and regulations. Under NCAA rules, the University of Richmond is obligated to monitor and self-report violations as they occur. Once these violations were reported, the athletics department worked in conjunction with the NCAA staff to get this matter resolved.

The NCAA and fantasy sports

The exact nature of the violations — beyond it having to do with wagering on sports — did not come to light. The statement from UR did not mention the nature of the violations. Based on the statement today from the NCAA, it apparently did not have to do with play at daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel.

The NCAA has taken a hard line against its athletes taking part in any type of gambling or sports betting.

Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.
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