Photo by Cassandra Bauer
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE BY ADAM ROGAN
Drake Men’s Soccer head coach Gareth Smith and senior defender Andre Heine have each been suspended by the NCAA. The team will also have to forfeit its Sept. 13 win over the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The suspension and required forfeit resulted from a misunderstood rule regarding mandatory suspensions after a player receives a red card.
On Sept. 6 against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Heine received two yellow cards for illegal tackles. Receiving two yellow cards in a single match results in a red card, an automatic ejection from the match and a one-game suspension.
However, if a player receives two red cards in a season, the suspension is extended by one game. This rule was enacted before the 2014 season. Before 2014, successive red cards still only resulted in one-game suspensions.
Heine had already received a red card on Aug. 28 at California State University, Bakersfield, so his Sept. 6 suspension should have been extended to two matches. He sat out against the University of Missouri – Kansas City on Sept. 10, but was back on the field against Green Bay three days later.
Smith wrongly believed that the required suspension was still only one game.
“As the head coach, I accept full responsibility and I extend my sincerest apology to our student-athletes and fans,” Smith said in a Drake Athletics press release. “… I have taken the necessary steps to address this situation and prevent it from occurring in the future.”
Smith and Heine will both miss the next four matches as a result of their suspension, although Heine may be back sooner pending an appeal to the NCAA.
Barring any changes, Smith will return by Oct. 8 when Drake is scheduled to play Loyola University.
Assistant coach Kyle Smith will take over in-game head coaching duties throughout Gareth Smith’s suspension.
Since Heine was technically ineligible on Sept. 13, the Bulldogs were required to concede the win to Green Bay. Drake’s record will now be changed from 4-2 to 3-3 on the season.
The conference season kicks off this Saturday when Drake hosts Loyola. This will be the first game that Smith hasn’t been at the helm for since becoming head coach before the 2015 season.