Administrative errors force Smith and Dixon to Towson sidelines

March 11, 1991|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Evening Sun Staff

Attackman Glenn Smith, Towson State's all-time leading goa scorer, and starting midfielder Lindsay Dixon have been suspended for two lacrosse games for inadvertent academic eligibility violations.

Both players were forced to sit out the Tigers' opening 18-9 victory over Villanova last Saturday and will miss this Saturday's game against Maryland at Minnegan Stadium.

"The problem didn't involve low grades, disciplinary action, missed classes or anything like that," said Pete Schlehr, a Towson State spokesman. "They were inadvertent errors by the athletic administration that weren't caught until recently."

The problem dates back to the 1989 fall semester when Smith and Dixon played for Towson in two games in the Choice Visa Classic.

An internal audit conducted by the University of Maryland system uncovered that credits when Smith was a part-time student that fall had been used in the computation of his progress toward a degree. Towson thought that was within the rules. No, said the NCAA.

Towson argued that since it wasn't Smith's fault, he shouldn't be penalized. The NCAA retorted that regardless of the nature of the mistake, it was still a two-game penalty because he had played two fall games during the semester under scrutiny.

Dixon dropped a class during the 1989 fall semester and thereby dipped below the minimum 12 credit hours required for athletic eligibility. Schlehr said that at the time Towson "had no mechanism to flag down that sort of thing."

Upon learning of the violations, Schlehr said Towson State notified the NCAA's David Berst. Taking the initiative, the school recommended that Dixon be suspended for two games and the NCAA agreed.

Smith, a senior attackman out of Boys' Latin, is Towson's career goals leader with 110. He tied Michael DeSimone for the team lead last year with 31 and, with 43 points, trailed only John Blatchley (50).

Dixon, a junior midfielder out of Broadneck High, was the Tigers' fourth-leading scorer last year with 33 points (17 goals and 16 assists).

Towson State coach Carl Runk said he wasn't aware there was a problem until last week. He had the unpleasant assignment of telling the two players of their suspension Friday night.

"They were totally saddened by it," Runk said. "We also feel bad, especially for Glenn because it really wasn't of his own making. Both came to Villanova for the game, but they had to get there on their own.

"Playing Maryland without them is going to hurt, no question. At Villanova, we had to renovate things and had people jitter-bugging around. Now we at least have a week of practice, but we'd have our hands full against Maryland even if we didn't have these problems."

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