NCAA: Recruiting violations led to Boise State player suspensions
The NCAA says two Boise State players who were suspended took illegal benefits
One of the players, Geraldo Boldewijn, received a car and insurance coverage
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Two of Boise State's three football players with Dutch ties were suspended at the start of the season because of recruiting violations and for taking illegal benefits, including one player who received a car and payments to cover auto insurance, NCAA officials said.
The statement issued by the NCAA Wednesday provided the first explanation for the one-game suspension handed down to senior safety Cedric Febis and the four-game suspension served by sophomore receiver Geraldo Boldewijn. Officials say the investigation into sophomore defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe is still pending.
Febis, who was held out of the season opener, was penalized for "recruiting violations and receiving impermissible transportation." NCAA spokeswoman Emily Potter declined to share details of Febis' infractions and instead referred inquiries to university officials, who did not immediately return telephone and email messages left by The Associated Press.
In Boldewijn's case, NCAA investigators concluded he received $700 in illegal benefits, including a car and insurance coverage. Boldewijn has repaid those benefits, according to a story first reported Wednesday by The Idaho Statesman.
Boldewijn has also been reinstated by the university, is practicing with the team this week and expected to play when the No. 5 Broncos (4-0) play at Fresno State on Friday night.
All three players are from Amsterdam and moved to the Boise area to play high school football before signing on to play for Boise State. All three also played limited roles for the Broncos last season.
Boise State officials announced days before the opening game against Georgia that the Dutch players were suspended indefinitely due to eligibility concerns.
During the investigation and reinstatement process, NCAA staff considers a variety of factors, including the type of violation, the value of the benefit and whether it amounts to a significant competitive advantage and the athlete's responsibility in the case.
Boise State alerted the NCAA of the possible rule violations for the players, Potter said.
Last month, Boise State President Bob Kustra suggested in an interview with the Statesman that athletic boosters were responsible for the infractions.
"What we have to make sure we do very well here is educate our boosters and make sure that they understand what boosters can and cannot do," Kustra told the newspaper when asked about the three Dutch players.
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