CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A week after Charleston Southern announced it would be "withholding several student-athletes from competition as a self-imposed action" during an internal review into possible NCAA rules violations, players from the football team voiced their displeasure with the decision and the university all over social media.
The school reported violations for improper use of book money on non-book items at the campus bookstore. Players were using the money to buy other items such as pencils, notebooks, electronics and clothes.
Running back Ben Robinson, a Tallahassee native who was returning to his hometown with the Bucs this weekend to play 3rd ranked Florida State, posted the following on his Facebook page Thursday:
In a message to Live 5 Sports, head coach Jamey Chadwell said the report that 30 players would miss the Florida State game were not accurate. But he could not say exactly how many players would miss the game against the Seminoles.
The school announced Friday afternoon that 14 players will miss this weeks game at FSU.
In total, 32 football players have been given a one-game suspension. Sixteen of those were staggered over the first two games of the season. The final 2 will serve their suspension at a later date according to the release.
Among the suspensions, were the Bucs top 3 running backs (Mike Holloway, Alan Barnwell and Robinson), the entire starting offensive line, starting receiver Colton Korn, LB Bobby Ruff & FS Corbin Jackson.
Last weekend, Charleston Southern Athletics Director Hank Small said the school would be holding out students who used scholarship money in the school bookstore on things other than books. He did not say how many players would be affected by this decision.
The school's statement on Friday would go on to say "Under NCAA rules, student-athletes may purchase books and school supplies with the financial aid provided to them to purchase books. Other items cannot be covered by that financial aid."
Junior linebacker and West Ashley alum Bobby Ruff tweeted a statement Friday morning saying "I am quite honestly appalled at the situation we have at hand concerning the "bookstore violations"...since my freshman year in 2014 I, along with all my other teammates, have been told by employees in the CSU bookstore that we are able to use our leftover book money. We were informed that "if you don't use it, it goes away"...to be told that we have to sit out a game AND pay a fine for doing what we were told by people employed by CSU working in the bookstore is not acceptable."
"CSU Football has been dealing with a witch hunt the first 3 weeks," Senior receiver Colton Korn wrote on his Facebook page. "Taking away some senior's shots to impress NFL scouts and hurting our image as men who have done our best to change the entire image of a program that was nothing short of a joke when we first got here...I'm bewildered at the lack of respect that the university is showing us athletes and student body as a whole."
Redshirt Junior offensive lineman Frank Cirone posted on Facebook that he was told that he was suspended "along with the rest of my offensive line for Florida State on Sat." He'd go on to say "It is unfortunate Charleston Southern only cares about itself as an institution. The protection of its student/athletes should be a number one priority."
Multiple players were also tweeting their displeasure with the situation on Thursday night and using the hashtag "FreeTheBucs".
Kickoff for the game in Tallahassee is scheduled for 12:30pm on Saturday.