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UAlbany athletic director Benson: Marr's comments 'unacceptable'

UAlbany athletic director Benson: Marr's comments 'unacceptable'

Marr made critical remarks Monday regarding the NCAA
UAlbany athletic director Benson: Marr's comments 'unacceptable'
Scott Marr is shown during Tuesday's game.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

ALBANY — Two days after University at Albany men’s lacrosse head coach Scott Marr made critical comments aimed at the NCAA, UAlbany athletic director Mark Benson felt “compelled to publicly repudiate” Marr’s remarks.

In a statement released Wednesday evening through the athletic department, Benson said: “On Monday, coach Scott Marr made unacceptable comments directed at the NCAA that I feel compelled to publicly repudiate. Scott’s comments were not accurate and, more fundamentally, do not represent the values or opinions of the University at Albany athletic department. I have spoken to coach Marr, and I am confident he understands the gravity of this error in judgment.”

Benson added: “We would like to thank the NCAA for addressing the eligibility matter involving Tehoka Nanticoke in an expeditious manner. Moving forward, Scott continues to have my full support, and I am confident he will continue to set a strong example for our student-athletes.”

Nanticoke missed Saturday’s game at Cornell after it was discovered Friday morning he had committed an NCAA “secondary violation” Thursday night with an Instagram post that appeared to promote a business. UAlbany started its process to report the violation and file for his reinstatement on Friday, but didn’t make formal contact with the NCAA or finalize its report with the organization until Monday. That evening, the NCAA reinstated Nanticoke’s eligibility, hours after Marr referred to the NCAA as a “big-brother monopoly” during a radio interview and criticized the NCAA policies UAlbany followed that had rendered Nanticoke immediately ineligible.

“The NCAA makes a lot of money off of athletes and they pretend to be student-athlete friendly,” Marr had said Monday after his team’s practice. “I don’t see any friendliness with suspending a kid indefinitely for making a mistake.”

The NCAA, in statements it released Monday and Tuesday through a verified Twitter account it operates, disputed Marr’s take that it was responsible for Nanticoke missing Saturday’s loss and that the “Albany coach” had made “inaccurate statements” regarding the situation.

The NCAA did not specifically comment on Marr’s remarks related to amateurism issues and the NCAA.

In the press release sent Wednesday through the UAlbany athletic department, a section attributed to Marr reads: “I apologize to the university and the athletic department for comments that I made Monday regarding the NCAA. I let the emotions of the situation get the best of me. I understand that those are not the opinions of our university or our athletic department, and accept the responsibility and consequences for making those remarks.”

After Tuesday’s game against UMass, in which Nanticoke did play, Marr denied making any “inaccurate statements.”

“No,” Marr had said, “I knew what I was doing.”

Benson and Marr each declined Wednesday to comment further on the matter beyond the athletic department's official statement.

UAlbany plays Saturday vs. No. 7 Maryland.

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