Howard University Rules All Teams And Athletes Eligible

After a quick investigation, Howard University has ruled all its teams and athletes eligible.

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Howard Athletics Investigation: All Teams And Athletes Ruled Eligible

Two days after Howard University's athletics programs were apparently suspended, then apparently not suspended, all is apparently good for the Bison, as spring sports will continue as planned.

The school had this to say, via Facebook:

Student athletes who were declared ineligible to compete by Howard University last Friday have been reinstated. As a result of this decision, all spring sports teams will compete as scheduled for the remainder of the season.

The school will continue its internal investigation into the reports that student-athletes had been misusing textbook vouchers - i.e., spending them on things that weren't textbooks, which is a no-no with the NCAA. Schools are allowed to pay for athlete's textbooks, but the Washington Post reports players speaking anonymously thought others were pocketing some of the cash. If the players the school was investigating have been reinstated, this means they may have returned the money they took, which would make them eligible again.

Howard returned to the field today with a softball double-header, losing 2-1 in both games.


Howard University Has Not Suspended All Athletic Programs, Per University Officials

Howard University has issued a statement refuting earlier reports from multiple outlets that the Bison have suspended all athletic programs in the wake of an internal investigation. Courtesy of the Washington Post:

In an e-mail, school spokeswoman Kerry-Ann Hamilton said the school has "temporarily withheld a number of student-athletes from competition as a self-imposed action. Most teams will compete as scheduled."

The Post is citing two anonymous student athletes, one a football player and one a softball player, that corroborate a report from the Washington City Paper, who cited an anonymous bowling team member that said the investigation centered around the misuse of textbook vouchers.

The Post also refuted the City Paper's report from earlier in the day that Howard had temporarily suspended all activity among athletic programs, and reported that the football and softball teams were practicing Wednesday afternoon.

Regardless of the specifics of how or if the university issued a total suspension, the presumed concern for Howard is that the NCAA would step in, according to the Post:

An Atlantic Coast Conference compliance officer contacted for this story said student-athletes are never supposed to handle funds used to purchase textbooks, and that athletic department officials usually pay for a student-athlete’s books. The compliance officer, who asked not to be identified because he did not know the facts of Howard’s situation, said the NCAA could view these violations as a lack of institutional control on Howard’s part.

For more on the Howard investigation, visit SB Nation's college football page and this StoryStream


Howard Athletics Suspended Over Possible Textbooks Violation, According To Report

As news breaks regarding the suspension of all athletic programs at Howard University, one potential violation has been reported by the Washington City Paper. The report cited an unnamed member of the Howard bowling team who said university officials told student athletes there is an investigation into misuse of textbook vouchers:

According to the bowler, the university allowed athletes to spend money that they didn't use on books on whatever they wanted, a possible violation of NCAA rules. The bowler says the university is demanding that any money spent improperly be repaid to Howard and that athletes won't be able to register for classes until they clear up the matter.

However, the City Paper went on to quote an unnamed compliance officer at another school who suggested that a total suspension of athletics wouldn't be the response to just the misuse of textbook vouchers.

"For [Howard] to self-impose complete suspension, they must not have been doing anything in compliance."

For more on the Howard athletics suspension, visit SB Nation's college football page and this StoryStream.

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Rutgers Football Schedule Could Be Altered By Howard University Troubles

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are scheduled to play Howard in football in 2012, but that might not happen now, depending on how long the Bison athletic department remains on hold. Rutgers is looking into what it might need to do to replace Howard, the Star-Ledger's Tom Liucci reports.

Since it's not easy to tell at this point just how long this whole thing might last, Rutgers hopes to learn whether it might blow over in time to mean no changes to the schedule.

Elsewhere on the out-of-conference schedule, Howard is set to play Morehouse and Georgia Southern, the former in RFK Stadium and the latter in Statesboro. In 2011, Howard went 5-6 overall and 4-4 in the MEAC.

For more on Scarlet Knights football, visit Rutgers blog On The Banks, plus Big East blog Big East Coast Bias and SB Nation New York.


Howard University Suspends Entire Athletic Department Over NCAA Violations, According To Report

Howard University has suspended its teams in every sport, according to a report.

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