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Report: Blazers used an ‘ineligible transfer player’, GSC says

Valdosta State’s undefeated Blazer football team has been given punishment from the Gulf South Conference.

According to the press release from the GSC, the Blazers were found to have been playing with a potentially ineligible transfer player. VSU was given notice in early October of the player’s ineligibility.

The issue in question is a discrepancy between rules for Division I and Division II rules in the NCAA. In Division I, players are allowed to redshirt a year if they play four games or less in one season, but that rule does not translate to Division II sports.

The student-athlete in question had previously played for a Division I school for four seasons, and that information was omitted in the transfer portal.

Now, the NCAA has officially deemed the player ineligible and has considered it a secondary violation. A secondary violation is a violation that is isolated or inadvertent in nature; provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage; and does not include any significant impermissible benefits. Multiple secondary violations by a member institution may be collectively considered as a major violation.

The NCAA has noted that it is considering changing its Division II policies to match the Division I policy.

The punishments given to VSU include:

A fine for the three games that the VSU student-athlete participated in games.
The GSC Athletic Department will go through compliance rules investigations with all VSU head coaches, assistants and graduate assistant coaches to ensure transfer-rules compliance.
The Athletic Department will review all four-year graduate transfers.
 
VSU may also be punished further by the GSC if more information arises during its investigation.

 

“We are reviewing our policies and procedures in regards to the certification of transferring Division I student-athlete so as to ensure that this situation will not happen again in the future. Hopefully, proposed legislation that will be voted on at the 2020 NCAA Convention in January will eliminate the inconsistency in the red-shirt and season of competition rules between Division I and Division II. We want to thank the Gulf South Conference, Commissioner Matt Wilson and the NCAA for their assistance and guidance in this matter,” said Herb Reinhard, VSU Director of Athletics.

This story will be followed.

Written by Kyle Grondin, Staff Writer. Photo Courtesy of VSU Athletics.

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