Eight North Dakota State University football players, including four starters, will remain on the roster while criminal charges against them for forging signatures on ballot initiative petitions are resolved, their coach said Tuesday.
The players were paid $9 an hour to gather signatures for two citizen initiatives, which sought to set up a state conservation fund and make marijuana legal for medical treatments. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said many of the petition signatures were copied from phone books or fabricated.
North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said the alleged fraud made both initiatives ineligible for a statewide vote in November.
Stenehjem said 11 people have been charged in the case, including the eight players for the defending Football Championship Subdivision champions.
Four are starters - running back Samuel Ojuri, defensive backs Marcus Williams and Brendin Pierre, and offensive lineman Josh Colville. Backup defensive backs Bryan Shepherd and Aireal...