Cortland State vacates its 2009 victories

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2009 Cortland team
The 2009 Cortland State football team will now officially be 0-4.
2009 Cortland athletics file photo 

The NCAA enforcement staff has ruled that Cortland State must vacate its victories from the 2009 football season because the school inadvertently used an ineligible player that fall.

The mistake was reported to the NCAA by SUNY Cortland shortly after it was discovered.

The NCAA officially labeled the incident as a secondary violation. The sole penalty consists of changing the school’s win-loss record for 2009, and the ruling will have no impact on Cortland’s 2011 football season.

The incident involved a defensive player who played in 2008, then left the school and attended another school for the 2009 spring semester. He transferred back to Cortland for the 2009 fall semester and played that autumn. At the time, football program and athletics staff were unaware that he did not meet the transfer residency requirement necessary for the reinstatement of his eligibility.

“As soon as we realized that a violation had been committed, we contacted the NCAA,” said Cortland athletic director Mike Urtz. “We take full responsibility for our actions and accept the NCAA’s decision. While this is an unfortunate incident for our football program and our athletics department as a whole, we will do everything in our power to help insure that situations like this do not occur in the future.”

Cortland finished the 2009 season with a 7-4 record and appeared in the ECAC Division III Northwest Bowl. The seven victories will be removed from Cortland’s records, including head coach Dan MacNeill’s overall record. Individual records and statistics from those games, however, will remain intact, other than those of the ineligible player.

The 2009 season win-loss record will officially be changed to 0-4 and the ECAC bowl game (a loss at St. John Fisher) will not be counted as part of the program’s postseason history. By virtue of the games being vacated instead of forfeited, the results will not be changed in Cortland’s opponents’ records. Cortland defeated Morrisville, Rowan, Buffalo State, Western Connecticut State, William Paterson, The College of New Jersey and Brockport.

The No. 13 Red Dragons open their preseason camp on Saturday, Aug. 13.

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