WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Howard University says it has prevented some of its athletes from competing while the school investigates possible violations of NCAA rules.

It was first reported the school taking the largely unprecedented action of self-imposing a suspension of all athletic teams and games.

“It is with great regret that we have temporarily suspended intercollegiate athletic competition,” Howard University spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton told the Washington City Paper. “This is a self-imposed action while the University conducts a review. We are working quickly to resolve this issue.”

After hours of silence from officials and mounting pressure from the media, the school released a second statement in which it said the suspension would only extend to certain student-athletes and most teams would compete as scheduled.

“Howard University is conducting an internal investigation of possible NCAA rules-violations. As a result of this process, the University temporarily withheld a number of student-athletes from competition as a self-imposed action. Most teams will compete as scheduled. We are working diligently to fully resolve this matter as quickly as possible. In order to protect the integrity of this review, we are unable to share additional details at this time.”

It is unclear which sports were affected by the temporary suspensions.

Citing a student on the bowling team, the City Paper says the problem stems over textbook vouchers given to student athletes. The students were allegedly able to spend money earmarked for the books on whatever they wanted.

The bowler further claims the school is now demanding all money spent on items other than the books be repaid.

NCAA spokesman Erik Christenson declined a request for comment, referring questions to Howard. Multiple calls to the university’s athletic department were not returned.

Founded in 1867, Howard is a private university with about 10,500 students. Its football team has two winning seasons in the past 13 years; its men’s basketball team hasn’t had a winning season since 2001-02; its women’s basketball team lost in the first round of the WNIT this season.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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