West Virginia football declares secondary violation
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The West Virginia University football program, already under the cloud of an NCAA probe alleging five major and one secondary violation, is in the middle of controversy again, the Post-Gazette has learned.
The Mountaineers have declared a secondary violation for breaking an NCAA rule regarding the use of equipment -- which is limited to helmets only -- during the first two days of preseason camp.
"We are aware that some players were wearing vests during the first two practice days," West Virginia assistant athletic director for communications Michael Fragale told the Post-Gazette. "We are exploring further, will declare a secondary infraction and document it through the appropriate process."
The Mountaineers opened their preseason training camp on Saturday. On both Saturday and Sunday, in several photos and videos on the Internet and published still photos in various newspapers from those practices, some West Virginia players can be seen wearing what are commonly referred to as "spider pads" or lightweight shoulder pads and protective vests under their shirts.
Wearing such apparatus is a violation of rule 126.96.36.199 subsection 'd' which states, if full:
"During the first two days of the acclimatization period, helmets shall be the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear. During the third and fourth days of the acclimatization period, helmets and shoulder pads shall be the only pieces of protective equipment student-athletes may wear. During the final day of the five-day period and on any days thereafter, student-athletes may practice in full pads."
West Virginia coach Bill Stewart was conducting practice and not available for comment this afternoon. He has a media availability slated for 5:45 p.m. today.
This comes during somewhat of a difficult time for the Mountaineers' football program.
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck announced Thursday that the school received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, which focused primarily on the function and number of graduate assistants, student managers and other non-coaching staff in the football program from 2005-09. The NCAA claims the Mountaineers broke five major rules and one secondary rule; West Virginia has 90 days to respond to the claim and penalties could be imposed against the program.
First Published August 10, 2010 4:13 pm