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Quick Snap: Howard Shuts Down Rising Football, Rest of Athletic Department

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UPDATED 4/5, 12:26 p.m. PT Howard is playing its Sept. 8 game with Rutgers, per NJ.com

UPDATED: Howard University’s official statement is as follows:

"Howard University is conducting an internal investigation of possible NCAA rules-violations. As a result of this process, the University temporarily withheld a number of student-athletes from competition as a self-imposed action. Most teams will compete as scheduled. We are working diligently to fully resolve this matter as quickly as a possible. In order to protect the integrity of this review, we are unable to share additional details at this time."

Howard University is suspending all intercollegiate athletics, per WashingtonCityPaper.com. The very brief article alludes to unspecified NCAA infractions, the magnitude of which are anyone’s guess. But considering an entire athletic department is shutting down operations, it seems major.

Bison football improved from 1-10 in 2010, to 5-6 last season under first-year head coach Gary Harrell. Howard had dark horse potential to compete in the MEAC this season, returning one of the most NFL-ready defensive players in the Championship Subdivision. Linebacker Keith Pough was an FCS All-American in ’11, racking up a team best 78.5 tackles, 18.5 of which were for loss. Freshman quarterback Greg McGhee was a nominee for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award, given to the subdivision’s top freshman.

The NCAA allows players to transfer from programs that cease operations without penalty. Running back Miguel Maysonet left Hofstra after it shut down football following the 2009 season, and has rushed for over 2700 yards in two seasons at Stony Brook.

Talented Pough would make for an excellent addition to any defense. He has one season of eligibility remaining.