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NCAA Report – University of Montana President Responds [AUDIO]

Royce Engstrom
Photo by Peter Christian

The NCAA report involving the Montana Grizzly football program was released on Friday. University of Montana President Royce Engstrom said the university’s self-imposed sanctions were instrumental in the NCAA’s findings, and that the university sought legal experts to help in that effort.

“We didn’t just make those sanctions up out of thin air,” Engstrom said. “It was done under the context of what other schools have experienced and what our attorney’s considerable experience with the NCAA led us towards.”

Engstrom said he was pleased, but not surprised that the scope of the NCAA investigation dis not focus on the parallel U.S. Department of Justice investigation into sexual assault.

“The NCAA, of course, came in and investigated what they saw to be the issues of importance and concern to them, and it was their decision and their choice as to what to pursue,” Engstrom said. “I think their conclusion was that the way we handled sexual assault wasn’t of concern to them, so they were looking at other things. All along, we’ve tried to say that the two investigations were independent from one another, and indeed, that turned out to be the case.”

On aspect of the sanctions that please Engstrom, was the lack of any prohibitions on post-season play.

“We were very pleased that a prohibition of post-season play was not involved,” Engtrom said. “Frankly, we worked pretty hard throughout the process to make sure that was not a sanction.”

Engstrom said now that both major investigations have been completed and made public, that the university can put them in the past, and look to the future.

“I see only good things coming ahead for the athletic program,” Engstrom said. “Our student athletes and our coaching staff and their support staff are just tremendous people. They are dedicated to excellence across the board. Our athletic director Kent Haslam is doing just a very fine job for us, and so I see nothing but an even stronger athletic program emerging from all of this, We’ve really turned a corner, and we can put all of this behind us. Obviously, we need to be very careful and responsible as we move forward. I think that Griz nation sees that we have worked very diligently to put our house in order, and I think its going to be a great year for Grizzly athletics.”

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom

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