2. SMALL COLLEGES: Tusculum cancels season

NCAA Division II men's regional power Tusculum canceled its season after several members of the team were accused of taking an undisclosed amount of money and food from concessions they operated as a program fundraiser at the recent NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The money was returned and no charges were filed by law enforcement officials, but the Tennessee school canceled the 2006 season. In addition, Tony Castainca, the Pioneer head coach for the last 17 seasons, and assistant coach Louis Thorpe tendered their resignations.

"Because these young people were participating as a team in a team fundraising event, we are compelled to deal with it in a way that limits their privilege of athletic participation," said Tusculum Athletic Director Ed Hoffmeyer. "While there are innocent people on our men's soccer team who will be affected, this incident has brought great embarrassment to our entire program.  In addition to our men’s soccer team, student-athletes of our other 13 sports will also be tainted by the actions of a few.  But more importantly, all members of the Tusculum College community have been embarrassed by this incident.  The loss of a season pales in comparison to the damage done to the reputation of an institution that has served this community proudly for over 200 years."

Castainca accumulated a 203-107-21 record and was named South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year five times. The Pioneers, ranked No. 22 in the NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division preseason poll, returned 17 lettermen from last year's squad that had a 11-7-1 record while advancing to the NCAA D2 Tournament for a second straight year.
    Small-college roundup:

  • Lindenwood upset defending NAIA men's champion Lindsey Wilson, 3-1, thanks to two goals by Spaniard Juan Lapido and one goal by Endi Dragicevic. In other NAIA action, No. 4 Grand Canyon edged No. 5 Auburn-Montgomery, 1-0, on freshman midfielder Jason Massie's goal in the final game of the AUM Classic.

  • Messiah opened the defense of its NCAA Division III women's title with a 2-0 win over Virginia Wesleyan on goals by Kaci Klynstra and Emily Cope at Wesleyan's Orthopaedic Associates of Virginia Classic. Messiah's game against Johns Hopkins was canceled because of bad weather. In other tournament games, Johns Hopkins beat Oneonta State, 1-0, and Oneonta State edged Virginia Wesleyan, 1-0.
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