PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — Eastern New Mexico University allowed 17 baseball players to compete in a double-header a day after they were arrested following an off-campus fight.
ENMU Athletic Jeff Geiser explained his decision to allow the team members to play Saturday against Angelo State by saying they are innocent until proven guilty, the Clovis New Journal reported (http://bit.ly/SsZ08u ).
The players — nearly half of the team — each posted bail after being arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of disorderly conduct as a result of a fight at a Portales student housing complex.
"Every situation is unique, and I think the truth will eventually come out, and I'm taking the approach that we're innocent until proven guilty, and that will be my take on this," Geiser said.
ENMU President Steve Gamble said he had no details on the fight or the police investigation, and university Police Chief Brad Mauldin declined to comment.
Eastern New Mexico and Angelo State split the double-header.
The university caught the attention of the NCAA last fall after it was learned that numerous students had failed to earn enough credits to fulfill requirements that spell out how far along they must be in their degree programs. Some athletes also failed to declare their amateur status.
At the time, Geiser said most of the violations, which dated back to the summer of 2012, were minor and stemmed from misinformed advising.
The university offered to erase several seasons' worth of victories by nearly all of its sports programs because of the violations. Athletics spokesman Phillip Pongratz said Monday the investigation is ongoing and the NCAA has yet to make a final decision.