FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Ten North Dakota State University football players pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor election fraud and were sentenced to community service for faking signatures on proposed ballot measure petitions that they were hired to collect.I have talked to quite a few UND fans that think the way that NDSU is handling this situation is a joke – we have players at UND getting suspended for Minor in Consumption which is a class B misdemeanor and then at NDSU we have football players pleading guilty to class A misdemeanors and they aren’t getting suspended. I think this send a poor message to the fans and especially to the young kids that look up to them. In fact, the NDSU Athletic Director Gene Taylor and the head football coach Craig Bohl are running deflections for their players.
Among the players on the nation's top-ranked Football Championship Subdivision team who pleaded guilty Tuesday were starters Samuel Ojuri, Joshua Colville, Marcus Williams and Brendin Pierre. Players Lucas Albers, Aireal Boyd, Demitrius Gray Bryan Shepherd, Antonio Rogers, and Charles Smith III also pleaded guilty.
Each of the players was ordered to serve 360 days of unsupervised probation, complete 50 hours of community service and pay $325 in fees. All of the sentences were deferred, meaning the crime will be expunged from a player's record if he completes the conditions of his sentence.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to the sentences for eight of the 10 players. The state had recommended 1-year suspended sentences for Ojuri and Williams because of prior misdemeanors.
The players declined to comment after the hearing. Quick deferred questions to NDSU.
Bison head coach Craig Bohl has said the team might discipline the players but won't suspend them. The school said he planned to issue a statement later Tuesday.
@mikemcfeelykfgo Extremely good.They have the #3 team in the country this week. There isn't a coach in the country that would suspend them
— SiouxFootballInsider (@SiouxFootball) October 2, 2012
#NDSU President Dean Bresciani, AD Gene Taylor and HC Craig Bohl will address the media at 7:30 tonight on petition fraud case
— Dom Izzo (@DomIzzoWDAY) October 2, 2012