Five University of Richmond baseball players have been suspended for the start of the season after the NCAA ruled them ineligible due to their involvement in a fantasy football league.
One of the players, junior right-hander Keenan Bartlett, is considered to be the A-10’s third-best professional prospect and ranked in the top 100 juniors in the country last season. Similarly, senior infielder Kurtis Brown was a first-team all-A-10 selection hitting.342 with 17 doubles and 35 RBIs.
The University of Richmond announced the ban on February 17, the day of the Spiders’ first game. The suspended players will remain ineligible until the NCAA has decided on punishment and completes the reinstatement process.
Richmond announced Feb. 17, the day of the Spiders’ season-opener, that NCAA secondary violations impacted the eligibility of five players, without identifying the infractions or the players. UR’s statement read, in part, “As a result of these violations, these five student-athletes will be ineligible for competition until the NCAA’s reinstatement process has been completed.”
The NCAA rule that the players ‘violated’:
“You are not eligible to compete if you knowingly participate in any sports wagering activity that involves intercollegiate, amateur or professional athletics, through a bookmaker, a parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling. Examples of sports wagering include, but are not limited to, the use of a bookmaker or parlay card; Internet sports wagering; auctions in which bids are placed on teams, individuals or contests; and pools or fantasy leagues in which an entry fee is required.”
The NCAA considers fantasy sports with an entry fee to be a form of sports gambling and therefore they are off-limits to student-athletes.
Kristen Litchfield, assistant director of athletic public relations for the team, told The Collegian: “I (or anyone else) in the athletic department will not give the identity of the individuals involved. Nor will we disclose the specific violation.”