May 9, 2012

Occidental's Widolff fired

More news about: Occidental
Dale Widolff was 178-101-2 in 30 seasons at Occidental.
Occidental file photo

Occidental football coach Dale Widolff has been terminated in the wake of a NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations, school officials announced today.

The investigation is the second into Occidental's football program in two years. Widolff was suspended without pay in August 2010 for six weeks for violation of NCAA rules and internal college policies.

"We take violations of the rules very seriously and believe that, however difficult, we have done the right thing," said Occidental athletic director Jaime Hoffman. "Our top priority is to ensure that the future of our student-athletes is not placed in jeopardy."
 
The NCAA has asked Occidental officials not to discuss the details of the case so as not to jeopardize the investigation, which was set in motion when Hoffman contacted the NCAA on April 17. The 2010 investigation also was the result of self-reporting by the college.

UPDATED: The school later noted in an alumni magazine story that Widolff had emailed student-athletes at other institutions, asking if they would be interested in transferring to Oxy, “we determined that the volume of recipients exceeded 450 — many of them competing at other SCIAC institutions. That placed Occidental’s football program in major violation of NCAA rules,” said Hoffman.
 
During his 30-year career as Occidental's head coach, Widolff won 11 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and made seven post-season appearances. His 178 wins ranked him fifth among active NCAA Division III coaches.
 
Occidental will conduct a national search to find a successor for Widolff. Offensive coordinator Eric Bergstrom will serve as acting head football coach until the search has concluded.

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