BILLINGS — With a top-20 matchup looming with 13th-ranked Dickinson (N.D.) State, Rocky Mountain College announced it must forfeit its season-opening win against Carroll College.
Through an internal review, RMC discovered an academically ineligible athlete played in the Battlin’ Bears’ 19-0 win over Carroll College on Aug. 23.
“The College accepts full responsibility for the violation,” Rocky Mountain College announced in a statement. “We sincerely apologize to our community, our fans, our student athletes, Carroll College, and the NAIA for this error, and we dedicate ourselves to improving all processes so that we may avoid any future violations.”
Rocky, which started the season as the No. 20 team in the NAIA top 25 poll, was picked to finish second in the Frontier Conference in the preseason coaches poll, behind defending league champion Southern Oregon. The Bears started the season with impressive wins over Carroll and Montana State-Northern. With the forfeiture, though, Rocky will fall to 1-1 and give Carroll its first win of the season.
Click here for updated Frontier Conference standings.
If Carroll counts the forfeiture toward coach Mike Van Diest’s career coaching record, it would mark his 199th win since taking over the Saints’ program in 1999.
Story by Slim Kimmel, MTN Sports