Keith Dambrot

Two Akron players suspended three games apiece due to clerical error

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There’s no ignoring the fact that folks have become more and more frustrated with the way in which the NCAA handles the enforcement of its rules, but a decision handed down on Friday may have taken the cake.

While most were focused on the NCAA’s decision to declare UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad ineligible, Akron learned that junior forwards Nick Harney and Demetrius Treadwell would be suspended for three games apiece due to a clerical error by the school’s compliance department.

According to a statement released by the school neither player received final amateur certification clearance before the start of the 2011-12 season, something that’s required according to NCAA bylaw

Prior to engaging in practice or competition, a student-athlete shall receive a final certification of amateur status based on activities that occur prior to his or her request for final certification or initial full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I or II institution (whichever occurs earlier).

Akron appealed the decision, citing the fact that neither player was at fault for the violation, but the plea fell on deaf ears and the appeal was denied.

Harney and Treadwell had nothing to do with the paperwork needed to ensure their amateur status not being completed, yet the NCAA deemed it necessary to have them sit three games.

Not sure what’s worse here: the penalty itself or the fact that someone in charge decided that it made sense to punish Harney and Treadwell. And you wonder why people are growing even more disenchanted with the way things “work” with rules enforcement.

“I feel badly for Nick and Demetrius because this oversight happened as a result of no fault of their own,” head coach Keith Dambrot said in the statement. “They did everything that was asked of them by our Athletics department and coaching staff. We were in constant contact with our compliance department to make sure they fulfilled their obligations.

“Unfortunately, a clerical error occurred that led to this situation. We will continue to focus on winning these next three games and look forward to getting them back on the court next week.”

Unfortunately for the Zips they dropped their season opener 74-70 at Coastal Carolina on Friday night, and they could have used both Harney and Treadwell. Harney averaged 8.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last season, and Treadwell finished with averages of 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest.

Akron’s next two games are against John Carroll on Monday and Oklahoma State Thursday in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, meaning that Harney and Treadwell will be able to play in the team’s final two games in Puerto Rico.

Last week featured two Indiana players being suspended for a receipt of improper benefits that was triggered by the purchase of alumni bumper stickers by the wife of their legal guardian before either of them were born. And the week ended with two Akron players suspended due to a clerical error that wasn’t their fault.

Makes sense.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej. 

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.