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Published September 04, 2012, 09:27 PM

NDSU athletic department reacts to the petition fraud charges

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- For the third time since the start of Fall Camp, Players on the NDSU Football team are caught up in the Cass County Legal system. But is the University worried about a possible negative reputation?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- For the third time since the start of Fall Camp, Players on the NDSU Football team are caught up in the Cass County Legal system. But is the University worried about a possible negative reputation?

From traffic violations to indecent exposure, to voter fraud, the allegations against these student-athletes run the gamut. In the eyes of the law some of these charges are more serious than others. But the NDSU athletic department is taking a different course of action.

Gene Taylor/NDSU Athletic Director: "In terms of other things that kids get in trouble for, student athletes across the country, I do not think this rates where they should be suspended for a certain amount of time."

The Eight NDSU football players are being charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a 2-thousand dollar fine. Linebacker Brandon Jemison is facing a lesser Class B misdemeanor charge for indecent exposure, but has already been kicked off the team.

Taylor: "Felonies, DUI's, violence, theft, things of sexual nature are very different than putting names on a petitions."

And when asked about the question of consistency, Taylor stood behind his coach.

Taylor: "I am not concerned about how he is handling this, at all."

The alleged voter fraud comes in an election year A time when Americans rejoice in the democratic process. But, according to Taylor, something that probably wasn't on the minds of these eight players.

Taylor: "Those kids don't know that, they were hired to get signatures on a petition and they didn't get them and they turned them in."

As for whether this could leave a black mark on a University and a football team with 9 national championships?

Taylor: "Still going to play football and these guys are going to be a part of the team at the end of the day, one way or the other."

We reached out to the Presidents office, but Dean Brescani wouldn't do any interviews.

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