In a Facebook post Friday night, Charleston Southern University running back Ben Robinson says that he and about 30 teammates have been suspended by the NCAA for improperly using money allotted for textbooks to buy other school supplies at the campus bookstore.
From Charleston Southern running back Ben Robinson's Facebook page. pic.twitter.com/mXpov7b4ec
— Ariya Massoudi (@AriyaMassoudi) September 9, 2016
Robinson writes that the NCAA is requiring him and his teammates to both pay a fine and sit out a game as penalty for their violations. They were allegedly given the option of serving their suspension either during Saturday’s game against Florida State or against a conference opponent later in the season.
According to Robinson, he and his teammates were using their money to buy textbooks but, after purchasing the necessary books, they had some money left over on their accounts. Under the instruction of the bookstore employee, he says, that the players used the remaining funds to purchase items like pencils, binders, and electronics. They were allegedly informed that their left-over funds would not roll over to the following semester.
The NCAA is well-known for going to great lengths to enforce the codes of amateurism they hold their athletes to, so it’s not surprising that this incident would produce this sort of reaction. Still, these players are now forced to make the tough choice of either sacrificing a rare opportunity to play against some of the best competition in the country in Florida State or sacrifice a meaningful conference game for an incident that, by Robinson’s telling, seems like an honest mistake.
Charleston Southern lost to Jacksonville State in the quarterfinals of the 2015 FCS playoffs and finished with a 10-3 record.