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Oregon State’s Wetzler Starts Season Under NCAA Investigation

The Portland Tribune’s Kerry Eggers on Oregon State pitcher Ben Wetzler:

Wetzler, a senior left-hander from Clackamas High, is under NCAA investigation for inappropriate use of a financial advisor in dealing with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wetzler was drafted in the fifth round but returned for his senior year. The investigation is almost certainly centered around the agreement Wetzler had with the advisor and what duties the advisor performed. Student-athletes can hire an advisor to assist them in negotiating a contract but the advisor cannot negotiate directly with a professional team. Any agreement with an advisor must not also be an agreement for the advisor to become the athlete’s agent, even in the future.

OSU has hired outside help, namely Michael Glazier of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. And that help will be needed since Oregon State and the NCAA sound far apart in how they view the case:

The NCAA is still in the fact-finding phase of its investigation of Wetzler. One source said Oregon State, which has been working on the case since November, will self-impose a penalty of 10 percent of the season. The NCAA is expected to propose a loss of at least 50 percent of the season.

A 10% or six game suspension would suggest an inadvertent or accidental violation of the agent rules (like the advisor negotiating with a professional team without the knowledge or authorization of the athlete) or for the receipt of a relatively small amount of benefits from the agent (less than $100 or less than $300 with additional mitigation) with no other violations. A 50% or 28 game suspension suggests either more significant benefits ($500 to $1000) or a violation which might carry a season-long suspension or permanent ineligibility from which the NCAA is willing to come down some.

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