Fans stick with Eagles despite NCAA sanctions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fans stick with Eagles despite NCAA sanctions

CHENEY Wash. - Eastern Washington University may have lost the battle against Weber State this afternoon, with a final score of 31 to 13, but there is another battle they're trying to fight this season,the right to be allowed to play post-season football.

The team continues to appeal the many NCAA sanctions placed on them earlier this year, but there's no guarantee, they'll win that fight.

Before today, the Eastern Eagles were ranked 14th in the nation and even with today's loss, it's still an impressive start to the season, and it's hard for fan's to even think about them not being allowed to play.

There's something about walking into a football stadium for a home game that's exhilarating, it's a clear sunny day, the stands are packed and the players are ready for the win.

But there seems to be a very different feeling in the air on Woodward field this season, and that's most likely because of the NCAA's significant probation sanctions, slapped on the team last February, after the teams former coach Paul Wulff, now head coach at WSU, held what they called improper practice related activities and violated several other NCAA rules.

Now Wulff is gone and the team he's left behind is left with the fallout. "I hate you Paul Wulff you're a trader," said one angry fan at today's game.

So how do you cheer for a team who as of now, is banned from post-season play?  Well that's easy, fans say, they'll tough out the cold.   "Oh this is perfect weather," said EWU student Matt Bogyo, "it's a good football day."  Just like they'll tough out these sanctions, because they say to them, it just doesn't matter.

"I think we're going to support them we don't care the NCAA is very finicky," said EWU fan Fritz Brayton.  "Even if they can't play, we'll still watch them tee up and play football, it's just fun to watch."

Experts say the appeal process on those sanctions was expected to take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks and the team was expecting to hear back from the officials by the end of September on whether or not they get the okay to play in the post season.

So for now, both the team and fans have to sit and wait for their future to be decided.

Kaitlyn Buldoc
KHQ Reporter

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