DeMario Mayfield

Morehead State transfer DeMario Mayfield charged with armed robbery

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In late February Charlotte head coach Alan Major dismissed leading scorer DeMario Mayfield for what was described as a violation of team policy. Through 18 games the one-time Georgia Bulldog was averaging 11.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the 49ers, who ultimately finished the season with a 21-12 record.

Mayfield has since agreed to join the Morehead State program for his final season of eligibility, but his future as an Eagle may be in doubt with the 6-5 guard once again in trouble.

It was reported by the Charlotte Observer on Sunday that he and another man have been indicted on charges including conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

According to the story, Mayfield and Ricardo James Crawford were found on May 27 acting suspiciously in a car with handguns, masks and gloves in their possession.

Police noticed the car at about 2:30 a.m. because it made a sharp turn into a neighborhood that police describe as vulnerable to burglaries because many college students who live there were away for the summer break. Officers ran the car’s tag number and found that the registration was expired.

Police followed as the car turned off its headlights, drove down an alley and parked behind some apartments.

Officers approached the car and saw a clown mask by Mayfield’s feet and a gun wedged between his leg and the seat. A furry hat lay on the floor next to Crawford’s feet. Officers also found two pairs of latex gloves, a drawstring bag, a marijuana bud, a second handgun and a bag holding a magazine loaded with 9 mm bullets.

Mayfield and Crawford have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, loitering or prowling and possession of marijuana.

Mayfield is free after posting bail ($11,200), but the question now is whether or not he’s blown his latest (and last?) opportunity to finish his Division I career on the court as opposed to being dismissed.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
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Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
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St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?