The Susquehanna Crusaders are not a premier football team even in the world of Division III football. But they certainly won’t be making any noise at least for the 2016 season after they were hit with major NCAA sanctions Saturday.
Clay Lepard of WNEP in Moosic, Pennsylvania reported on Saturday that Crusaders had committed several NCAA sanctions. After nearly a year-long investigation, they concluded that a prominent alumnus had paid for at least part of a “star player’s” tuition.
That alumnus is former Crusaders star Nick Lopardo, who, until recently, had his name on the team’s football stadium. Following the sanctions, his name has been removed.
Lopardo will be permanently disassociated from the school and a trustee that was aware of Lopardo’s actions has resigned. The school self-imposed that they would vacate their five wins from the 2015 season, but that was not the end of their punishment.
The NCAA ruled they would be banned from postseason play and would serve a two-year probation. The player whose tuition was paid will serve a three-game suspension and will serve community service before being reinstated to the team.
The Crusaders will open the 2016 season on the road against Lycoming on Sept. 3.