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Football Head Coach Suspended for Rules Violations

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2010) – Occidental College head football coach Dale Widolff will be suspended without pay from Sept. 1 to Oct. 10 for violation of NCAA rules and internal college policies, college officials announced today.

Widolff read a statement to his players at practice this morning in which he apologized and took full responsibility for his actions. “I’m sorry. I made mistakes. I was wrong,” he said in part.

During his suspension, Widolff will be barred from serving in any kind of coaching role and any contact with players or coaches. Offensive Coordinator Eric Bergstrom will serve as acting head coach during Widolff’s four-game suspension.

The possibility that Widolff may have violated NCAA rules came to the College’s attention on Friday, Aug. 13, said Athletic Director Jaime Hoffman. Widolff, whose adherence to internal college policies had already been questioned, was suspended with pay the following day, and the NCAA notified on Monday, Aug. 16. (Widolff's suspension was lifted today to allow him to address his team.)

“We take any kind of ethical breach very seriously,” Hoffman said. “We contacted the NCAA immediately, conducted a thorough investigation, and imposed what we believe are appropriate sanctions.”

Contact: Jim Tranquada, (323) 496-8886