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North Idaho College booster club faces athletic inquiry

Associated Press

North Idaho College officials say representatives from the Northwest Athletic Conference are investigating the use of booster club funds for the school’s athletic program.

College President Rick MacLennan wrote about the investigation in an internal memo to staff members Thursday, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.

“The NWAC received an anonymous complaint alleging that one of NIC’s athletic teams has possibly violated the NWAC codebook regulations regarding the use of booster club funds for student housing, food for athletes and athletic camps,” MacLennan wrote. “The focus of the complaint is on our processes and procedures, not about actions by our student-athletes.”

No individuals were named in the complaint, college spokeswoman Laura Rumpler said. The memo doesn’t specify which sport received a complaint, but Rumpler said the Northwest Athletic Conference will review the entire athletics program for consistency and thoroughness.

Rumpler said the conference told the school about the complaint in February.

“If or when there are any recommendations for reform or changes we need to implement, we will work diligently to do so,” Rumpler said. “We are not shying away from this.”

The college president wrote that the school takes the integrity of its athletics program seriously.

“When notified by the NWAC of the anonymous complaint, we immediately began the process of providing thorough and necessary documentation,” MacLennan wrote. “This information-gathering process continues and we remain cooperative and open to this inquiry.”

The latest review follows an academic integrity investigation into the college’s athletic program announced earlier this year. That investigation resulted in the firing of longtime head wrestling coach Pat Whitcomb and the resignation of assistant wrestling coach Keri Stanley after being placed on paid administrative leave.

Whitcomb has denied any wrongdoing, while Stanley hasn’t commented following an agreement with the school.

“I refused to resign as I had done nothing wrong,” Whitcomb wrote earlier.

Rumpler declined to say whether the review and anonymous complaint are related to the academic integrity investigation.

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