Two of the players were found to have bet against Boston College in its Oct. 26 game against Syracuse University, said Middlesex County District Attorney Thomas Reilly, though he added that there is "absolutely no evidence, no indication" that the actions of any of the 13 players had directly or indirectly affected the outcome or score of any game.
In addition to being illegal, wagering on collegiate or professional sporting events by student athletes is a violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. Boston College suspended the 13 players on Nov. 6 and may, at its discretion, petition the NCAA to reinstate each player's eligibility at a time it deems appropriate.
On Nov. 11, the University announced that it would not seek reinstatement for any of the players for the remaining games of the 1996 football season.
According to the announcement, "Once the University has completed its review process, the University will submit to the NCAA a summary report which will include the institution's recommendations regarding the future eligibility status of all suspended student athletes. Reinstatement will not be sought for any of these players found to have bet on a Boston College football game.
"The eligibility status of those who have been suspended shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis."
Reilly, together with Vice President for Student Affairs Kevin P. Duffy, Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk, Head Football Coach Dan Henning and Faculty Advisor to Athletics Prof. Joseph Quinn (Economics) appeared at a Nov. 6 press conference in Power Gymnasium to announce the suspensions.
Addressing the Syracuse game in particular, Reilly said the two players - whom the University has not named publicly - were "not in a position to influence" the result of the contest. One was in the game for just one play, the other did not play at all. BC lost the game 45-17.
The other players had bet on collegiate and professional football games and on baseball games, including the World Series, Reilly said. The amounts of the bets typically ranged from $25 to $50, but a few bets of "several hundred dollars" were placed, he added. Reilly, who praised the University's full cooperation with the investigation, noted that the "overwhelming majority" of the suspended players came forward on their own and admitted to the allegations. The investigation is continuing, he added.
In addition to possible action by Reilly's office and the NCAA, the players may face University sanctions following a review of each case by the Office of the Dean for Student Development.
In addition, the University has formed an internal review committee, which is chaired by Duffy. It has three charges:
*to provide appropriate institutional oversight of all internal aspects of the investigation into rumors about gambling on campus among student athletes;
*to review findings from investigative sources and make recommendations about possible University follow-up; and
*to assure that the process was conducted with fairness, justice and compassion.
Members of the committee, in addition to Duffy, are: Human Resources Employee Relations Director Richard Jefferson; Carroll Graduate School of Management Dean Hassell McClellan; Police Chief Robert Morse; Prof. Joseph Quinn (Economics); Dean for Student Development Robert Sherwood; and Legal Counsel for University Affairs Rev. Dennis Yesalonia, SJ.
"The findings of the District Attorney that certain football players have engaged in betting are regrettable and saddening," University President William P. Leahy, SJ, wrote in a Nov. 6 letter to the University community. "But there are rules and there are expectations in life, and the rules and expectations regarding this kind of behavior were well known to those who chose to violate them.
"This has been a difficult and stressful time for all of us, but especially so for the student athletes, their families, the coaching staff, and the entire Athletic Department.
"In my short time as president, I have come to know that Boston College is a strong institution. It is a warm and vibrant family of students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. For 133 years we have stood for principle and integrity. Boston College has been and remains committed to excellence in academics and athletics. We will continue on that path."
Henning brought rumors of gambling activity by some members of the football team to Gladchuk's attention following BC's loss to the University of Pittsburgh on Oct. 31. The following day, Gladchuk contacted Reilly's office and asked for assistance as the University formed its internal review committee. On Nov. 3, Gladchuk contacted the NCAA.
The suspended players are: seniors Marcus Bembry, Paul Cary, John Coleman, Chris Cosenza, Steve Everson and Brian Maye; juniors Dan Collins, Scott Dragos, Kyle Geiselman and Rob Tardio; and sophomores Jamall Anderson, Brandon King and Jermaine Monk.
-Sean Smith contributed to this story.
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