UNLV athletes will be suspended from games for phone charges

Updated: August 28, 2003, 8:57 PM ET

LAS VEGAS -- Fifteen UNLV athletes, including 11 football players, will face suspensions this fall for making nearly $2,500 worth of unauthorized phone calls, school officials announced Thursday.

The athletes will be required to repay the money, according to the university.

Athletic department spokesman Andy Grossman said NCAA rules require three of the football players to sit out Friday night's opening game against Toledo. Coach John Robinson can decide when the other eight players will serve their suspensions, he said.

One male and two female soccer players also face suspensions as does a member of the dance team, Grossman said. Earlier this spring, two members of the Rebels women's softball team were prevented from competing along with one UNLV baseball player, the school said.

Grossman declined to name any of the players.

A UNLV investigation by the school's Department of Public Safety found that from August 2001 to May 2003, about 500 current or former students used a university personal identification number without permission to make $65,520 in long-distance calls.

The PIN belonged to assistant head football coach John Jackson.

About 50 of the students were current or former athletes, said Jerry Koloskie, UNLV senior associate athletic director.

School authorities said they were unable to determine how students obtained the PIN, but did not think Jackson gave it out.

No criminal charges were filed against UNLV students, including the athletes.

Grossman said school officials still were investigating, and other athletes could face suspensions.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index