The administrative error that forced Marshall men’s soccer coach Chris Grassie to sit out the Thundering Herd’s NCAA tournament win over West Virginia University will keep him out of the rest of the postseason — and into next season.
The NCAA decided Grassie will serve an eight-match suspension for the error, which came after junior midfielder Pedro Dolabella did not sit for a game after accumulating a yellow card and red card in Marshall’s final match of 2018. Dolabella also must sit out the rest of the 2019 season or for four games, whichever is longer. The WVU win last Sunday counts in that total.
Marshall, the No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament, plays at sixth-seeded Washington at 8 p.m. Sunday.
According to a Marshall news release, while the head coach bears the ultimate responsibility for knowing to withhold players from contests, the referee from that 2018 match did not follow an NCAA-mandated rule and never entered the card into the NCAA’s red card depository.
As a result, ejection reports were never sent to the coach, conference office or Marshall University athletic administration. Dolabella needed to sit one match for the red card, but did not.
“This was an honest mistake,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said in the release. “There was no ill intent here and no attempt to gain a competitive advantage. We fully support Chris Grassie and the program he is building at Marshall. He is a first-class person who recruits quality student-athletes who represent Marshall University in a positive manner.”