- Marco Garcia/Getty Images
Thirty-two football players at Charleston Southern University have been suspended for a game after they spent money given by the school to be used for books on other supplies at the bookstore, Ariya Massoudi of FSView first reported.
Senior running back Ben Robinson posted a message on Facebook on Thursday explaining the situation.
“30+ players on my team including me have been suspended for using book money to buy other things in the book store like pencils, binders, and electronics, out of our school bookstore,” Robinson wrote. He also noted that bookstore employees encouraged him and other players to use all of their leftover money so it didn’t go to waste.
The school confirmed the suspensions in an email to Business Insider.
Charleston Southern University (CSU) follows an NCAA rule that specifies players can only use the exact amount of book money provided by a school on books and must return the rest, according to Deadspin.
While the school provided the book money to players, the NCAA has regulatory control over institutions in its purview and strictly prohibits compensation for players.
The suspended players must pay a fine and choose whether to sit out of Saturday’s game against Florida State University or another game against a conference opponent, according to Robinson. CSU confirmed that 14 players will be withheld from Saturday’s game.
The players will have to pay back the money they spent on nonbook supplies, according to Deadspin. It’s unclear, however, whether there will be a fine on top of that amount.
From Charleston Southern running back Ben Robinson’s Facebook page. pic.twitter.com/mXpov7b4ec
— Ariya Massoudi (@AriyaMassoudi) September 9, 2016
Senior wide receiver Colton Korn lashed out at the school on Facebook as well for allegedly failing to communicate the rule that prohibited players from spending the money on other supplies:
“We are being punished for using excess book money to buy school supplies clothes and electronics from the book store after being advised to ‘use it because it disappears if we don’t,’ not knowing that we were committing an NCAA violation … It pains me to see my brothers from Florida having to call family and friends saying they won’t be able to play this weekend, MUCH less the fact that the school told them today (the day before travel) that they will be sitting at home instead, giving barely anytime to let family try to get out of financial obligations.”
The NCAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.