UCSB receives its punishment from NCAA

UCSB will lose standout midfielder Machael David for three regular season games and three postseason matches for his involvement in a post-match fracas following the Gauchos’ overtime loss at Cal in last season’s NCAA tournament, the NCAA announced.

In addition to David’s punishment, midfielder Luis Silva must serve a one-game suspension for a controversial red card he received for his tackle on Cal’s Servando Carrasco. That suspension will be served in the Gauchos’ regular-season opener next Saturday against Seattle.

UCSB coach Tim Vom Steeg, who in a post-game press conference blasted the NCAA about its process of selecting officials for playoff games, was spared a suspension during the postseason by a NCAA appeals committee. He did receive a public reprimand and a fine of $600.

The committee rescinded several other penalties, but it wouldn’t budge of the punishment of David, an All-Big West first team selection.

Danny Barrera and Michael Tetteh received the same suspensions as David, but both players left the program after last season to pursue careers in professional soccer. Tetteh was drafted by the Seattle Sounders.

The severity of  the suspensions were based on refereee Michael Kampmeinert’s report that the three players made contact him after the final whistle.

“MD got a red card at the end of the game, and in the report they said he made contact with the referee, which is an automatic suspension for our next three games,” UCSB coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “That, we already knew.

“What got added was the three-game post-season suspension, which was what we were fighting and contesting (in the appeal process).”

The NCAA released a statement about the penalties.

“The men’s soccer committee was very disappointed with the unsportsmanlike actions displayed by the coach and student-athletes,” John Diffley, an athletic administrator at St. John’s who serves as chair of the Division I Men’s Soccer Committee, said in the statement. “We believe these types of behaviors only serve to discredit the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship and trust that the appropriate actions will be taken to prevent these types of behaviors from occurring again in the future.”

The NCAA also told UCSB it will have to forfeit the championship tournament transportation and per diem expenses of the suspended players, as well as those incurred by Tim Pontius and Waid Ibrahim for “verbally abusing an official.”

The original reprimands and penalties were levied by the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Soccer Committee, while the appeal was handled by the Administrative Committee of the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet.

Mark Massari, the director of athletics at UCSB, said he was thankful that administrative committee was fair in handling the appeal.

“While we continue to raise our concerns over officiating mistakes and championship oversight during that match — through the proper channels —we are thankful that the Administrative Committee of the NCAA Division I Championships handled our appeal fairly.

“Our actions postgame are not indicative of how we have represented the university in the past or how we will in the future. We in athletics take our role at this wonderful university and in this community seriously and with a sense of pride.

“We have the best coach in the nation, leading championship-driven student-athletes who want nothing more than to serve as role models on and off of the pitch. In soccer, they do.”

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