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WSU offensive coordinator to be suspended


Robin Pflugrad, offensive coordinator for the Weber State University football team, is facing suspension by the NCAA for violations committed while he was the head coach at the University of Montana. According to a statement released by the NCAA on Friday, Pflugrad and UM failed to monitor its football program and to report violations which happened during the 2011 season.

According to findings by the Division I Committee on Infractions, university boosters provided extra benefits to football players, including meals, free legal representation and bail bond payments, a small loan, clothing, lodging, transportation and laundry services. Additionally, the football team exceeded coaching limits, and two former student-athletes competed while ineligible.

As reported by the NCAA, a university booster provided bail to two student-athletes who were arrested in 2011. Another booster then provided the athletes with free legal representation. Following the release of the two student-athletes from jail, Pflugrad learned that a booster provided bail for them but did not inform the compliance office or any other administrator of the booster activity, the report said.

Senior athletics department officials, including the compliance director and director of athletics, were also aware that the booster was providing legal assistance to the student-athletes, according to the report.

Pflugrad will receive a one-game suspension, which will take effect the first game of the 2013 season. According to a WSU press release, he will not be allowed to participate in practices from Aug. 26 until the season opener on Aug. 31. He will also be restricted in off-campus recruiting and evaluations for the fall season, and will be required to attend the 2014 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.

“The administration, coaches and staff of Weber State University are strongly committed to upholding NCAA rules with the highest degree of integrity,” said Jerry Bovee, WSU director of athletics, in the WSU press release. “Robin Pflugrad has been a positive addition to the Weber State University football coaching staff and has been forthcoming and cooperative in addressing issues related to his employment as head coach at the University of Montana.”

After being fired from UM in March 2012, Pflugrad was hired by WSU earlier this offseason. WSU was aware of the potential sanctions facing Pflugrad before he was hired.

“Coach Pflugrad has cooperated fully with the NCAA and accepts the imposed sanctions and is now looking forward to having this matter behind him so that he can assist Coach Sears and our staff in building a successful football program at Weber State,” Bovee said.

Head football coach Jody Sears did not wish to comment on the sanctions but said he hopes it can all be put behind them as soon as possible.

“The only thing that I will say about that whole deal is that I am extremely happy to have Robin Pflugrad on our staff,” Sears said. “I am really happy for him to be able to take one step closer to getting this thing behind him. We support him 100 percent. He’s been extremely professional through this whole process. Like I say, Robin Pflugrad is a man of integrity. He is a great husband, a great father and a great football coach.”

WSU associate head coach Steve Morton will step in as offensive coordinator for the Wildcats during the first week of the season.
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