Up to 14 Howard University football players have been declared ineligible to participate in season-opening games by the NCAA, the result of the organization’s continuing investigation into the student-athletes’ improper use of their textbook allowances.

“Right now, it’s not a distraction,” Bison Coach Gary Harrell said Thursday. “We understand the situation. Whatever the ruling is, whatever the NCAA’s plan, we have our plan as well.”

The names or the exact number of the players who will miss time were not immediately made available by the school or the NCAA, but those players will miss one to three games, depending on the extent of the violation. Harrell said the affected players will be able to practice while they wait to regain eligibility.

Howard opens the season Sept. 1 against rival Morehouse at RFK Stadium.

Harrell said the list of ineligible players could include sophomore quarterback Greg McGhee, the reigning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rookie of the year, and senior linebacker Keith Pough, the MEAC preseason defensive player of the year. If McGhee were to miss time, Harrell said quarterback duties would fall to junior Randy Liggins Jr. and freshman Jamie Cunningham. Read More Washington Post