BR-81 Bowie State’s season suffered a major blow after the school ruled quarterback Matthew Goggans ineligible for the remainder of the season.
D2Football.com PSAC blogger Chuck Bitner posted this statement from Bowie State athletic director Clyde Doughty, Jr. on the D2 message boards early Wednesday evening:
“Due to an incorrect accounting of participation and competition time prior to his entrance into Bowie State University, which could have possibly resulted in ineligible competition for the 2015 football season, student-athlete Matthew Goggans has been ruled ineligible for intercollegiate participation and competition for the 2015 football season.”
Goggans, who enrolled at Bowie State as a graduate student last season, started all five games for the Bulldogs this season, completing 52.8 percent of his passes (112-of-212) for 1,560 yards, 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. His performance in Bowie State’s first five games earned him CIAA Quarterback of the Week honors in four of the first five games.
The Pine Grove, Calif. native played two seasons at Fullerton (Calif.) College, where he appeared in nine games in his freshman season (2010) and six games during his sophomore season (2011).
Goggans transferred to North Carolina Central in 2012, appearing in eight games (starting three) before missing the 2013 season after knee surgery during spring practice, according to the Press Box DC blog.
After graduating from North Carolina Central, Goggans enrolled at Bowie State for the 2014 season, appearing in seven games and starting three.
Had Goggans appeared in less than 20 percent of his team’s games in any of the previous four seasons in which he played – which does not appear to be the case here – Bowie State could have applied for a hardship waiver, which would have granted Goggans a sixth-year of eligibility.
However, regardless of the circumstances, the oversight by Bowie State administrations appears to have cost the Bulldogs an opportunity to contend for their first CIAA North title since 2005 and the corresponding berth in the CIAA championship game.
The Bulldogs went 4-1 in their first five games, with their lone loss coming against FCS Central Connecticut. Based on past precedent, it appears that the four wins will be vacated and nullification applied against Bowie State’s record. According to Onnidan.com, an HBCU-sports news website, CIAA officials notified Bowie State that the team’s record “will not be altered until an institutional self-report is processed and ruled on by the CIAA and the NCAA.”
Under nullification, the four wins for Bowie State would be counted as losses. However, the records of their opponents, including BR-109 Merrimack, BR-128 Brevard, BR-148 Livingstone and BR-139 Johnson C. Smith, will remain unchanged.
The Bulldogs entered Saturday’s CIAA North opener against BR-127 Chowan tied atop the CIAA North with both teams in serious contention for the division title along with BR-83 Virginia Union. All three squads won their two crossover games against CIAA South teams to sit in a three-way tie entering this week’s action.
UPDATE (Thursday, Oct. 8; 1:00 p.m. Eastern): The CIAA issued a statement relating to the Bowie State investigation:
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has been made aware of an alleged violation related to the eligibility of a Bowie State University football student-athlete.
The conference office is working with the institution during its fact finding process. Upon completion of the investigation, the CIAA will respond.
“This indeed is unfortunate for Bowie State University and the conference,” said Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “We appreciate Bowie State’s administration for their cooperation in managing and reporting. The conference is focused on supporting [Bowie State] through the process to protect the interest and integrity of the student-athlete, institution and conference.”
More on this story as it becomes available.