Eight WSU baseball players suspended over discounted merchandise

WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita State said Friday it has received word that the NCAA is reinstating 16 baseball players who had been declared ineligible for competition this year for receiving discounted merchandise and apparel.

Eight players will be withheld from competition for a period correlating to the amount of benefits each received. Depending on the player, that could be three, six or nine games missed. Those include three position players and five pitchers.

They include the following:

  • Garrett Brummet – 3 games
  • Tyler Baker – 3 games
  • Cale Elam – 6 games
  • Dayne Parker- 9 games
  • Foster Vielock – 9 games
  • Kris Gardner – 9 games
  • Erik Harbutz – 9 games
  • Drew Palmer – 9 games

 “We feel the outcome is fair,” athletic director Eric Sexton said in a news release. “We have been working cooperatively with the NCAA national office since we discovered that we had potential eligibility issues.”

Wichita State said last year that the violations came to light during the transition that followed the June 4 firing of longtime head baseball coach Gene Stephenson. He was replaced in mid-June by Arkansas assistant Todd Butler.

The longtime baseball secretary for Wichita State was fired for this incident a couple months ago. Coach and player purchases for WSU were reportedly made through Shelly Wambacher at a 40% discount. These purchases were made through 2010 to the end of 2013. This was going on allegedly during the end of Gene Stephenson’s tenure as coach and the start of Todd Butler’s.

“Our goal is to always follow the rules and regulations of the NCAA and to represent Wichita State University with character and class,” Butler said. “Although this has been an unfortunate situation for all involved, we look forward to the challenge of the process. The Shocker players and program will overcome and move on to the upcoming 2014 season.”

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