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NCAA places Chadron State on 3 years of probation

AP - Sports

CHADRON, Neb. (AP) -- The NCAA put Chadron State on three years of probation and vacated 15 wins over two seasons Wednesday after determining its former football coach had secret bank accounts and extra benefits for players at the Division II school.

The Eagles did not lose any scholarships and will not be banned from the playoffs.

''We're pleased to have a decision from the NCAA and now we can continue to ensure Eagle athletics remains the strong program it already is,'' school president Randy Rhine said. ''I have confidence in our coaching staff and athletic administration to lead us forward.''

The NCAA's report ended a two-year ordeal for the western Nebraska school that produced one of Division II's all-time greats in San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead.

Bill O'Boyle was abruptly relieved of his coaching duties in October 2011 after the school discovered irregularities in fundraising. Brad Smith, athletic director at the time and the coach before O'Boyle, returned to the sideline on an interim basis but later was found to have been involved in violations as well.

O'Boyle now is the offensive line coach at Southern Illinois and Smith is retired.

O'Boyle said he believes information that could have helped his defense was not considered during the investigation. He declined to elaborate.

''I'll support their decision,'' O'Boyle said. ''But do I agree? There are a lot of things they missed that I'm disappointed in. But I'm going to accept what they came up with.''

According to the Division II Committee on Infractions' report, in 2009 O'Boyle opened a private bank account for proceeds from the football program's golf tournaments. He used the account for football and personal expenses, including paying a traffic ticket. He also used two other outside accounts to pay concession workers and for recruiting expenses.

When questioned by school officials, O'Boyle didn't reveal the location of the golf tournament money and the existence of the outside bank accounts.

The NCAA said Smith attended the football fundraisers but failed to monitor and adequately track the approximately $30,000 raised by the golf tournaments.

O'Boyle also gave an athlete $150 to settle a school bill and another $100 to an athlete so he could purchase health insurance. The committee said O'Boyle should have known he violated rules by giving money to athletes.

The Eagles also were penalized for using an ineligible player in 2011.

Chadron State's probation runs until November 2016, its six wins in 2011 and nine wins in 2012 have been forfeited, and the school has been fined $5,000.

The NCAA also placed O'Boyle and Smith under two-year show cause orders. For O'Boyle, that means he's not allowed to have access to any money that comes in through football camps or fundraising at SIU. He also must pay his own way to a regional rules seminar and will be monitored by the SIU athletic department.

For Smith, his athletically related duties will be restricted if he works again at an NCAA school.

Chadron State already had self-imposed a reduction of paid official recruiting visits, from 75 to 60, for the 2013-14 academic year. The school also limited the number of coaches who recruit off-campus.

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