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NCAA suspends WSU offensive coordinator Robin Pflugrad in connection with Montana sanctions

Published: Thursday, Sept. 3 2015 11:16 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2011, file photo, then-Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad watches his team against Western Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Missoula, Mont. Pflugrad, now Weber State's offensive coordinator, was suspended one game in connection with recruiting violations committed at Montana. (Michael Albans, File, Associated Press) FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2011, file photo, then-Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad watches his team against Western Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Missoula, Mont. Pflugrad, now Weber State's offensive coordinator, was suspended one game in connection with recruiting violations committed at Montana. (Michael Albans, File, Associated Press)

OGDEN — After a seven-month investigation into the University of Montana football program, the NCAA announced major violations involving former head coach and current Weber State offensive coordinator Robin Pflugrad.

The Grizzlies were placed on a three-year probation, and will forfeit four scholarships each of the three years. In addition, Montana was forced to vacate five games in which ineligible players participated.

The NCAA handed Pflugrad recruiting restrictions and a one-game suspension, which he’ll serve in the season opener against Stephen F. Austin on Aug. 31, for failing to monitor the program and allowing boosters to provide financial support for bail and legal counsel for two athletes.

He will not be allowed to participate in team activities starting Aug. 26 through the conclusion of the first game. Weber State associate head coach Steve Morton inherits play-calling responsibilities for the first week.

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

The violations center around the arrests of two players in 2011 who were bailed out of jail and received free legal representation from Montana football boosters, which Pflugrad failed to report. The investigation also found that players were compensated with free meals.

Pflugrad was fired as the Grizzlies coach, along with athletic director Jim O’Day, in late March after numerous allegations of sexual assault surfaced, including an incident where two women were allegedly gang raped by members of the football team. No arrests were made in that case.

Pflugrad was 18-7 as the head coach.

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