A group of Grizzly football boosters met with University of Montana President Royce Engstrom on Tuesday, who told them he would not petition the NCAA to reconsider its sanctions against the football program.

Several months ago the booster group presented a "white paper" presenting their reasons why the university should petition the NCAA for a reduction in the mostly self-imposed sanctions, which included a loss in scholarships for three years and a vacation of several wins, along with a Big Sky Conference championship.

Booster spokesman Brint Wahlberg was complimentary toward President Engstrom in the way he handled the entire situation.

"We were informed a couple of weeks ago that President Engstrom wanted to have a sit-down meeting with us about what he had done and what decision he had made concerning our white paper request for a reduction in the sanctions," Wahlberg said. "President Engstrom saw the merits in our argument, and actually engaged an individual from a law firm in Kansas City that specializes in NCAA matters. Unfortunately, the opinion that came back was that the penalties seemed pretty fair. So, basically, an independent party said that what the UM suggested and what the NCAA imposed seems to fit the bill."

Wahlberg said he appreciated the fact that President Engstrom was willing to listen to their concerns and act on them.

"Our concerns were taken seriously and a second opinion was sought," Wahlberg said. "In fact, President Engstrom had discussions with the compliance people who were doing the first check, kind of an independent group who also felt that the penalties actually seemed to fit what the violations were. So, he informed our group of his decision that he's not going to take it any further after the research he did and the advice he was given. So, we have to accept his decision and move on."

Booster Spokesman Brint Wahlberg


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