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Former Vanderbilt forward Sheldon Jeter loses appeal regarding transfer restrictions

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When it was announced that freshman forward Sheldon Jeter made the decision to leave the Vanderbilt program, more than a few outlets believed that the Beaver Falls, Pa. native would eventually land at Pittsburgh.

With the stated desire to play at a school closer to home, not to mention the heavy personnel losses incurred by the Panthers this offseason, Pittsburgh seemed to be a good fit. Only one problem: Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings informed Jeter that he would be cleared to transfer to any school…with the exception of Pittsburgh.

Stallings is allowed to do so under NCAA rules, and Jeter was allowed to appeal the decision to Vanderbilt officials. According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jeter’s appeal was denied on Thursday.

What does the denial mean for Jeter? Jeter can still transfer to Pittsburgh, but he would have to pay his own way for his first year at the school. How much of an impact does this development have on Pittsburgh’s chances of landing Jeter? That’s unknown at this point in time.

Jeter spoke publicly today for the first time about his dilemma. He said he would make a decision “in the next few weeks. When asked if Pitt was still under consideration, Jeter said he could not answer the question.

Pittsburgh has just nine scholarship players on its roster for the 2013-14 season, and former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane’s decision to transfer to Iowa State as opposed to his hometown school didn’t help matters either. The question for head coach Jamie Dixon and his staff is whether or not there are any available prospects that can help the Panthers from a depth standpoint.

As for Vanderbilt’s denial of Jeter’s appeal, this isn’t the first time a college program has taken this kind of step and it certainly won’t be the last. There was Phil Martelli denying Todd O’Brien’s request to be cleared to play at UAB, and despite media pressure Martelli refused to budge.

And there’s also the case of former Wisconsin forward Jarrod Uthoff, who would ultimately be cleared to transfer to Iowa after head coach Bo Ryan was criticized publicly for prohibiting the move.

Will Stallings eventually have a change of heart? If Jeter’s heart is set on attending Pittsburgh, all he can do at this point is wait and hope that the case.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Florida Gulf Coast’s Demetris Morant out 3-4 months

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Florida Gulf Coast redshirt junior forward Demetris Morant is expected to miss the next 3-4 months after undergoing surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his right shin, the school announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 4.5 points, 4.4 blocks and 1.3 blocks per game in 33 appearances (18 starts) for the Eagles during the 2014-15 season.

“This is obviously an unfortunate setback for Demetris, but it was a procedure that needed to be done,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Dooley said in a statement. “We decided it would be best to have it completed now to hopefully get him back for A-Sun play. It’s an opportunity now for other guys to step up in his absence, and I have confidence they’ll get the job done.”

The Eagles have the top frontline in the Atlantic Sun, one that returns Marc-Eddy Norelia and Filip Cvjeticanin, a 3-point shooter who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery. VCU transfer Antravious Simmons becomes eligible in the second semester.

Florida Gulf Coast begins the 2015-16 season on Nov. 14 against Ohio.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.