NCAA not fulfilling Richmond baseball players’ fantasies

Virginia catcher Matt Thaiss loses his footing while catching a fly ball by Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall during the sixth  inning of Game 1 of the best-of-three NCAA baseball College World Series finals at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Mike Theiler)

The NCAA suspended Richmond baseball players for playing fantasy football.

The story:

Five Richmond baseball players who have been ruled ineligible by the NCAA were involved in fantasy football, leading to their suspensions to start the season, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch report. The university announced Feb. 17 that five student-athletes on the baseball team had committed secondary violations and would be ineligible for competition until the NCAA completes the reinstatement process. The Times-Dispatch, citing multiple unnamed sources, later reported that the secondary violations were related to the players’ participation in fantasy football.

Two of the best players:

Two of the Spiders’ best players, right-handed pitcher Keenan Bartlett and infielder/designated hitter Kurtis Brown, were among those suspended. Baseball America named Bartlett, who went 4-4 with a 4.43 ERA in his sophomore season, the Atlantic 10 Conference’s third-best professional prospect, while Brown batted .342 with 17 doubles and 35 RBIs and was a first-team All-A-10 selection in his junior year.

Statement from the university:

“The University of Richmond athletics department has reported NCAA secondary violations impacting the eligibility of five student-athletes on the baseball team.  In full cooperation with the NCAA, the athletic department fully investigated and reported the violations, which the NCAA has recently determined were secondary in nature. 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:

“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.”

Hypocritical?:

Proving to be insufferable hypocrites on this issue, the NCAA punishes kids for playing fantasy football with their friends while the organization stands to make millions again this year off interest connected to basketball and football gambling. According to the American Gaming Association, gamblers wager almost $10 billion on March Madness games.

Barstool Sports thinks this is ridiculous:

Who needs a “case by case” basis? Rules that are put into place to stop players for throwing games or betting on their own teams or heading to Vegas on a gambling bender…why wouldn’t those same rules to apply to 20 year old kids drafting Cam Newton to their fake football team like 9.9 billion other Americans then Venmo’ing their buddy the commissioner 50 bucks to play in fake games?

What do you think? Should college athletes be penalized for participating in fantasy sports?

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