UNC Wilmington Old Dominion Basketball

NCAA denies Donte Hill’s eligibility waiver request


Old Dominion guard Donte Hill looked to be well-positioned to be a key factor for first-year head coach Jeff Jones in 2013-14. Hill averaged 8.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for the Monarchs last season, and with leading scorer DeShawn Painter out of eligibility more would have been required of Hill in ODU’s debut season in Conference USA.

In order to play next season, Hill needed to have his request for an eligibility waiver granted by the NCAA. Hill began his career at Clemson, playing an average of 5.3 minutes per game in the 2009-10 season. But before making the decision to transfer, Hill played eight minutes in a closed scrimmage in 2010.

Those eight minutes proved to be costly apparently, as the school announced that the NCAA denied Hill’s waiver request. That means Hill’s collegiate career has come to an end.

“The circumstances of the case did not warrant relief from the legislation,” Jone said in a statement released by the school. “Obviously, this news is disappointing to our staff and team and of course to Donte.

“He had a short, but successful career at ODU and more importantly will earn a degree in sociology in August. We know he has a bright future ahead of him. ”

It’s understandable that there are rules that need to be followed. But eight minutes in a closed scrimmage ultimately cost a player a full year of eligibility? That seems harsh, and who’s to say that Hill knew this was a possibility when playing in that closed scrimmage?

Given the many issues within collegiate athletics these days, one would think that there are bigger fish to fry than the eligibility of Donte Hill. Apparently, that isn’t the case.

Raphielle 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.