Well, that's it then. North Dakota State University athletic director Gene Taylor has spoken. The NDSU football players charged with faking petition signatures that resulted in two measures being kept off the November ballot will not be disciplined by the team or the university, even if they are convicted.
They won't be kicked off the team. They won't be suspended for even a game. They won't even be benched to start a game. Nothing. They've already been through enough, Taylor said.
NDSU President Dean Bresciani refused to comment, saying he did not want discuss inner-department matters.
So as far as NDSU is concerned, the matter is closed. The football coach, the athletic director and the university president are tired of talking about the players, although not when it comes to football. "They were vilified many times over and to come up and perform like they did, it's hats off to them," Taylor told The Forum.
Well, we're certainly glad the players were able to set aside their legal concerns, focus and play well for the defending national champion Bison, who beat Colorado State on Saturday night. We wouldn't want anything to get in the way of another precious football victory.
We couldn't disagree more with Taylor and the rest of the NDSU officials concerning the players, who are set to appear in court Oct. 2 on misdemeanor charges that carry a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. While the crime they are accused of is not violent in nature, nor is it sexual in nature, it's still a serious crime. They are alleged to have committed fraud upon the people of North Dakota, and that's an allegation that should not be dismissed lightly except, apparently, at NDSU.