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Salem State Soccer Team on Probation

February 5, 2003

SALEM, Mass. (AP) _ The Salem State men’s soccer program was placed on two years’ probation by the NCAA on Wednesday after two coaches arranged for an illegal $11,900 loan to a player for his tuition and personal use.

The decision bars the men’s soccer team at the Division III school from postseason play for the next two seasons. The school also must vacate the 12 games the unidentified player participated in during the 2000-01 season.

The college was considering an appeal, spokeswoman Karen Cady.

``We did, in fact, self-report this,″ she said. ``We feel the sanctions are over and above what they need to be.″

According to the NCAA report, coach Nicholas Padovani, volunteer coach Mario Filardo and Filardo’s girlfriend arranged the loan in January 2000 after they were told the player couldn’t register for the spring semester unless he paid his tuition.

Cady said she didn’t immediately know the identity of Filardo’s girlfriend.

The school reported the situation to the NCAA in January 2001. Filardo was fired, the player was declared ineligible and Padovani was reprimanded and reassigned as staff assistant at the campus student center, where he does not have coaching responsibilities or contact with athletes.

Padovani did not immediately return a call for comment. A phone number for Filardo could not immediately be located.

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