Four University of Maine football players cited for alcohol violations at a national park last weekend will be assigned community service projects as their punishment, but are unlikely to be suspended from competition, Athletic Director Karlton Creech said Thursday.

Redshirt sophomore Daniel Collins, the front-runner to be the team’s starting quarterback this fall, was among three 20-year-olds charged with underage drinking at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park on Saturday. The others were redshirt freshman Benjamin Davis and sophomore Sean Reuss. Reuss was listed as the starting tight end and Davis as a second string linebacker in a depth chart provided to reporters during spring practices.

In addition, 21-year-old senior Matthew Wilson, listed as the starting nose tackle, was cited for drinking in an area of the park where alcohol is not allowed.

Creech will hand out discipline under the university’s student-athlete code of conduct. He noted that the players wouldn’t face punishment under the general student code of conduct because their infractions, which occurred off-campus on their own time, don’t merit such censure.

Creech said it is possible that Coach Jack Cosgrove, after consulting with him, could impose further disciplinary measures, including suspension from a game, but “I don’t think that’s merited in this instance.”

The National Park Service citations are punishable by a fine.

“I look at what are our expectations and how do I address it?” Creech said. “Typically, that means community service and I will let them know that. If the behavior continues, things can get more serious.

“It’s not something we want or just accept. We’re certainly going to address it and as best we can prevent it from happening again.”

Creech will not make public his decision on community service, but said it may involve working in a local park.

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