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NDSU football has 8 players under voter fraud investigation

Seven North Dakota State football players who face voter fraud charges will be on the flight Saturday to Fort Collins for a game against Colorado State.

Head coach Craig Bohl said Tuesday he's going to wait for the legal process to play out before deciding on any discipline.

It was a stance backed up by his athletic director, Gene Taylor, who said the severity of the charges were the reason no immediate action was taken.

"The knowledge that we have in what goes on in an investigation in terms of seriousness - felony, violence, theft, DUI, sexual in nature - is very different than putting names on a petition," Taylor said. "And that's how we determined right now why we're going to let somebody go through court and somebody who doesn't."

Four starters - cornerbacks Brendin Pierre and Marcus Williams, running back Sam Ojuri and offensive guard Josh Colville - were among eight current players and one former player who face misdemeanor voter fraud charges, according to state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

Also affected were second string players cornerback Aireal Boyd, safety Bryan Shepherd and linebacker Antonio Rodgers. Receiver Demetrius Gray is redshirting and Josh Gatlin is a former Bison cornerback.

In addition, two former Bison players, D.J. McNorton and Don Carter, and one current player, tight end Lucas Albers, are on a list of petition circulators who, state officials say, submitted signatures to the state and later had signatures rejected.

As of Tuesday, the three were not included on the list of those state officials suspected of fraud.

Bohl said he was contacted a couple of weeks ago about the investigation. He said he helped coordinate the players being available to investigators and he said the players complied with the investigation. Bohl was notified Tuesday morning of the possible charges.

NDSU did not allow any of the football players to comment.

NDSU, 1-0 and ranked second in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision media poll, plays at CSU at 6 p.m. Saturday.