Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ohio Athletics Responds to OU Baseball Players’ Accused in Alleged Gambling Ring

ATHENS, Ohio - Two Ohio University baseball players are under investigation by the university and the NCAA for their involvement in taking bets on professional sporting events.
Athens City Law Director Patrick Lang said Andrew Shisila, 22, and Brent DeCoster, 22, both face a first-degree misdemeanor count of gambling.

Both men are seniors. While DeCoster only played on the team during his freshman year as the team's former pitcher, Shisila is the team’s current pitcher.

This morning, Lang confirmed that, as of now, the betting only concerned professional sports and not Ohio University sports nor intercollegiate athletics.

In a press conference this afternoon, Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt was joined by OU baseball coach Joe Carbone. Hocutt confirmed that he has indefinitely suspended Shisila.

The investigation began when Hocutt and Carbone both received an anonymous email tip on Nov. 29. They contacted the Ohio University Police Department who launched their own criminal investigation. Hocutt said that the NCAA was pleased with the OUPD’s handling of the investigation. To date, eight individuals are allegedly involved in wagering, two OU baseball players and a third OU student.

Sports wagering is a violation of Ohio Athletics Student-Athlete Code of Conduct and NCAA rules, which are both required to be signed by student athletes at the beginning of each academic year.

In attempt to repair the damage to OU's Athletics reputation, Hocutt said that the department would continue "to highlight and celebrate the actions" of the 422 student-athletes involved in Ohio Athletics that are "commited to doing the right things."

Hocutt also said that he believes the department has not been negligent regarding this issue and that the department has taken many steps to educate student-athletes on the consequences and rules regarding sports wagering.

"As with all 18-to 22-year-olds who are in college, this is that time from adolescence to adulthood, and they make mistakes," said Carbone. "Unfortunately these young men are going to pay for their mistakes."

Shisila and DeCoster’s first court date is set for 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the Athens Municipal Court.

Related Links
Student Code of Conduct
OU baseball homepage
Ohio Gambling Laws
Ohio Gaming Laws
Attorney General of State of Ohio’s Gaming Law homepage

1 comment:

Brian J. said...

This was so overblown it's not even funny. I know these young men and they are both sincere, goal oriented individuals.

After this was all said and done, DeCoster wasn't even found guilty for being involved in the gambling. I especially feel bad for him because all this press wasn't necessary and makes it sound so much worse than it needs to be.

They both will get past it and wish them the best of luck in their future!