The board of Nihon University on Wednesday recommended that President Takeo Sakai and Vice President Yasuhiro Sawada step down over a drug scandal involving members of the Japanese university's American football team, people familiar with the matter said.

The board gave Sakai and Sawada until Monday to respond to the nonbinding recommendation. Mariko Hayashi, chair of the university's Board of Trustees, agreed to a 50% pay cut.

In the scandal, there was a 12-day gap between when Sawada found plant fragments and other suspicious items at the team dormitory and when the university contacted police.