‘Nova student athletes suspended from games

Bridget Nyland

Several players on at least two varsity sports teams were suspended from games this week due to an undisclosed infraction of an athletic department rule.

Most of the suspensions were handled last week, but some will carry into next week’s games. No suspensions will carry into next season, however.

“The players involved have accepted responsibility for their actions and moved on,” said Vince Nicastro, athletic director.

In the interest of the athlete’s privacy, Nicastro noted that he could not reveal the exact nature of the violation. However, he explained that the violation was very minor.

“This was a very simple issue that was very easily resolved and required simple disciplinary action, so nothing has really been changed,” Nicastro said. “Other issues, like over the issue that arose over the summer, are far more complex are require much more discussion and exposure. However this was nothing like that issue.”

He also noted that many such minor infractions occur throughout the year and are dealt with internally through the athletic department and never receive outside coverage.

“Our practice in the Athletic Department is to try and handle things internally as best as possible,” Nicastro said. “We don’t feel that we have a responsibility to report the minor things, which make up the bulk of our disciplinary action, to the media.”

This practice applies both for school newspapers and outside media.

“Often, we will just report to the Dean of Students that we had some rule breakage and would like a certain punishment as a result of the infraction,” Nicastro said. “We often never really disclose specific details outside what is necessary.”

Nicastro qualified this by noting that in extreme or publicized circumstances, Athletics will disclose information and be open with the media.

“If it is a national game, for example, where the players are obviously going to be missed, we will disclose some information, but how specific depends on the nature of both the game and what was done,” Nicastro said. “If it is a major offense, then of course we will disclose to the fullest extend because people need to know about it.”

For this recent case, however, it was decided that the offense was not large enough to merit large scale disclosure of the infraction.

“The punishments, like sitting out for a game, are harsh enough for athletes without subjecting them to public attention by releasing the information to the press,” Nicastro said. “Naturally, pro athletes are subject to such attention and as varsity athletes, our athletes should be aware of their heightened profile. However, there is a big difference between college athletes and pro athletes, and we don’t want our athletes, overly punished for minor infractions.”