WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA/AP) - Howard University has suspended some athletes from its intercollegiate teams over an apparent violation of NCAA rules.
We don't know how many students are involved but the teams are still playing. We have learned the violations may be linked to a text book system. According to the Washington Post, students were apparently picking up checks to pay for the books but then pocketing the change. Some seniors were even told the violations date back to their freshman year.
We have also learned that if the university contributed to this violation than it could face severe fines by the NCAA.
Howard University spokeswoman Kerry-Ann Hamilton issued a statement on Wednesday evening:
"Howard University is conducting an internal investigation of possible NCAA rules-violations. As a result of this process, the University temporarily withheld a number of student-athletes from competition as a self-imposed action. Most teams will compete as scheduled. We are working diligently to fully resolve this matter as quickly as possible. In order to protect the integrity of this review, we are unable to share additional details at this time."
The school spokesperson says this year's suspensions are temporary. We're told athletes may be allowed back on the field once the money is paid back.
NCAA spokesman Erik Christenson declined a request for comment, referring questions to Howard.
Founded in 1867, Howard is a private university with about 10,500 students. Its football team has two winning seasons in the past 13 years; its men's basketball team hasn't had a winning season since 2001-02; its women's basketball team lost in the first round of the WNIT this season.