Murfreesboro (The Tennessean) - Middle Tennessee State University has declared quarterback Dwight Dasher, the preseason Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year, ineligible.
MTSU Athletics Director Chris Massaro released a statement today saying Dasher has been declared ineligible, but that the school will appeal to the NCAA to have Dasher reinstated.
Last week the school announced that Dasher had become the object of an internal inquiry after learning that the quarterback had apparently received a $1,500 loan from a patient at the York Veterans Administration Hospital.
The overriding principle of this inquiry is to protect the University and its integrity, while maintaining fairness to all individuals involved, including Dwight Dasher.
While there are a lot of sides to the story involving student-athlete Dwight Dasher, all parties agree that there was a $1,500 loan. Therefore, due to a violation of the NCAA amateurism legislation, we are declaring Dwight Dasher ineligible for competition but will be seeking his reinstatement. While we are seeking reinstatement, Dasher will be allowed to practice. It is anticipated that Dasher will miss some competition.
The University is sending a letter to the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Staff today. I do not have or expect to have a time table for the NCAA's decision.
The prescribed penalty on this type violation is a 30 percent reduction in the number of games in a season, which can be mitigated either higher or lower. We are not in position to comment any further on Dwight's eligibility status until the NCAA has resolved this matter.
I would like to recognize the work of Daryl Simpson (Associate AD for Compliance) and Terry Whiteside (Faculty Athletic Representative) in spearheading this inquiry on behalf of the University. They have spent countless hours gathering and processing information on this matter.
Due to the profile and possible ramifications of this issue, the University engaged the services of The Compliance Group and its Director, Chuck Smrt, to provide unbiased guidance and a third party analysis of the assembled information and anticipated processes. It was always our intent to be as thorough as possible and Chuck has helped us attain that goal.
At resolution of this matter, we will make Dwight Dasher, Colin Boss, MTSU Police Chief Buddy Peaster, myself, and Rick Stockstill available for comment to the media.
I am excited about the upcoming season and especially the opener against Minnesota on Thursday. This has the potential to be the greatest opener in school history as we build upon our New Orleans Bowl victory and our 10-win season. We hope to see our first sellout of Floyd Stadium on September 2.