NCAA drops hammer on Ferris Football players for gravy-training free food with expired meal cards. The ten players suspended can serve their time at any point throughout the season. Whether any of those will be in effect during Saturday’s game at Hillsdale is unknown.
Ferris State suspends 10 football players
Friday, September 01, 2006
By Howie Beardsley
The Grand Rapids Press
Ten members of the Ferris State football team have been suspended at least one game for illegally obtaining meals through the school’s dining services in the summer of 2005.
The players are safety Nick Beaudry (three games), middle linebacker Rob Evenboer (three), guard Allen Feigel (one), quarterback Ryan Kaul (two), Grand Haven All-American linebacker Mike Klobucher (one), center/guard Rob Lukofsky (three), linebacker Nick Maeder (one), linebacker Kevin Noe (one), defensive tackle Jereld Sawyer (two), and quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (three) of West Ottawa.
All 10 players are either starters or found on the squad’s two-deep roster.
According to Ferris State athletic director Tom Kirinovic, the NCAA allows the school to spread out the suspensions over the Bulldogs’ first five games, beginning with Saturday’s season opener at Kentucky State.
All the players were handed NCAA sanctions for using student identification cards, which had been activated for use last summer, to purchase meals beyond the authorized time period for the cards.
Because of a processing error by the university, their cards were not de-activated at the proper time, and the athletes continued to illegally access dining services.
“During preseason camp, the student-athletes buy their meals with those cards before the (dormitory) halls open for the school year,” Kirinovic said. “In the case of the kids involved, their meal cards were not turned off as they should have been, and they continued to obtain meals they shouldn’t have been able to obtain.”
Because Ferris State self-reported the unauthorized receipt of goods or services to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the NCAA did not discipline the FSU athletic department or football program.
“It’s unfortunate that some of our players exhibited poor judgment in this matter. All the students have subsequently paid for the meals in question.”
Improper use of the dining cards ranged from $6 to $1,144, and involved students and student-athletes at Ferris State.
“We’ve been told not to talk about this with anyone,” Van Wieren said.
When asked if he was playing Saturday, the junior replied: “Possibly, but I can’t talk about it.”
Because the illegal meal purchases were made last summer, some of the football players involved are no longer eligible for competition, or graduated.
“Any kid involved has had their personal accounts billed by the university,” Kirinovic said.