Richmond announced Thursday four players who have been suspended since the start of the season due to NCAA violations have been reinstated and will be able to return to action next Friday. A fifth player will remain suspended for the remainder of the season, but will be reinstated for the 2018 season.
Richmond declined to release the names of the players involved. News outlets had previously reported the reason for the suspensions were related to fantasy sports gambling, but the NCAA told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Thursday that the players “wagered money on sporting events using gambling websites.”
In a statement, coach Tracy Woodson said he looked forward to the players’ return for next weekend’s Atlantic-10 Conference series at George Washington.
“We look forward to having these student-athletes back on the field next week vs. George Washington,” he said. “Our staff is committed to complying with all NCAA rules and regulations and we will continue to work hard to educate our student-athletes about all NCAA rules.”
The suspensions were first announced on Opening Day. While Richmond has never revealed which players have been suspended, junior righthander Keenan Bartlett and senior infielder Kurtis Brown are two prominent players who have not appeared for the Spiders this season. Bartlett was slated to be Richmond’s Opening Day starter at Coastal Carolina and ranked as the third-best 2017 draft prospect in the A-10 entering the season. Brown earned first-team all-A-10 honors last season after hitting .342/.425/.484.
The Spiders are 9-14 this season. Richmond won its opening A-10 series last weekend, taking the last two games at Dayton. Richmond hosts UNC Asheville this weekend for a nonconference series.