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NAIA levies penalty on Jimmie football

The NAIA has forced University of Jamestown to vacate all six of its victories in football from 2016-17 as a result of player ineligibility infractions. John M. Steiner / The Sun

University of Jamestown football has been stripped of all its victories from the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) informed the university on Sept. 10 it would be vacating all six wins achieved by Jamestown in football from 2016-2017. University of Jamestown athletics director Sean Johnson said Wednesday the penalty is a result of a pair of separate player ineligibility infractions committed by the program.

"We played an ineligible student-athlete, which we did not intend to, obviously, but it happened and there is a penalty with that," Johnson said. "We weren't trying to hide anything. It was a procedural error, not anything intentional and not the fault of the student-athlete."

University of Jamestown was previously forced to forfeit victories over Waldorf University (Iowa) and Valley City State University from the 2016 season. Last week, wins over NCAA Division III Concordia College (Minn.) and Mayville State University in 2016 were added to the list, along with two wins recorded against Mayville State and Waldorf in 2017.

"We didn't have a problem with the penalties," Johnson said. "It was an error in policy and procedure. We have corrected those errors and have made the moves we needed to make to make sure it doesn't happen again."

University of Jamestown's athletics website (www.jimmieathletics.com) currently shows all 22 football games played by the Jimmies from 2016-17 as losses by forfeit. The NAIA has opted not to directly comment on the matter.

"It's the NAIA's policy to keep allegation details confidential unless they result in probation or suspension, which was not the case with Jamestown," stated NAIA director of communications Jen Saab in an email sent to The Jamestown Sun.

University of Jamestown has played to a current mark of 1-3 in its first season as a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Jamestown left the North Star Athletic Association, headquartered in Jamestown, after becoming one of five original NSAA members in 2013.

Jamestown's pair of forfeited seasons were the first two under current head coach Josh Kittell. Kittell, now 1-25 as coach of the Jimmies, was a former UJ standout at quarterback and previously served as an offensive quality control assistant at North Dakota State.

The Jimmies play at Doane University (2-0) in Crete, Neb., this Saturday, Sept. 22.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

(701) 952-8461
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