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MU men's soccer coach, player sidelined for remainder of season

Published: Nov. 27, 2019 at 2:42 PM EST
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The NCAA Men's and Women's Soccer Rules Committee determined Tuesday Marshall men's soccer coach Chris Grassie must serve an eight-game suspension, effectively immediately, for an administrative error pertaining to card accumulation.

The committee also decided junior midfielder Pedro Dolabella must sit out the rest of the season or a minimum of four games.

Grassie and Dolabella were suspended right before Marshall's NCAA Tournament win against West Virginia on Sunday, which counts toward the number of games each must be sidelined.

Dolabella received a yellow card and a red card in the final match of the 2018 season – a 2-1 loss to Kentucky in the Conference USA Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina.

While the head coach bears the ultimate responsibility for knowing to withhold players from contests, the referee from that match did not follow an NCAA-mandated rule and never entered the card into the NCAA's red card depository. As a result, ejection reports were never sent to the coach, conference office or Marshall University athletic administration.

"This was an honest mistake," Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick said. "There was no ill intent here and no attempt to gain a competitive advantage. We fully support Chris Grassie and the program he is building at Marshall. He is a first-class person who recruits quality student-athletes who represent Marshall University in a positive manner."

The suspension against both the coach and player could carry over into next season.

Marshall, the No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament, plays at sixth-seeded Washington this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern.