With the Eddie Jordan era set to get underway at Rutgers Friday night, the program finally has an answer regarding the status of one of their newcomers.
According to Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger, the NCAA has ruled that 6-foot-7 freshman forward Junior Etou is ineligible for Rutgers’ first six games of the season due to his receiving impermissible benefits in the fall of 2012. Etou, who played at Bishop O’Connell in northern Virginia, is originally a native of the Republic of Congo.
There was some controversy regarding his age, but an investigation into the matter at the high school level found no evidence of wrongdoing.
“We are thankful to have resolution on this matter,” Jordan said in the release. “Junior is acclimating well to the University environment and working hard every day in practice. We look forward to having him on the floor.”
With the news regarding Etou, Rutgers now knows who will be available this season, and that was something that couldn’t be said as recently as a couple months ago. Both J.J. Moore and Kerwin Okoro were still waiting for word on their request to be granted immediate eligibility, joining Etou in legislative limbo. Both Moore and Okoro would eventually receive their waivers, with Okoro needing to file an appeal after initially having his request denied, and they’ll be on the floor against Florida A&M Friday night.
Etou’s first opportunity to play will come on November 23, when the Scarlet Knights host William & Mary. Rutgers is also taking part in the NIT Season Tip-Off, and while he won’t be able to play in either of the early round games (November 18 and 19) Etou would be available should Rutgers reach the semifinals (November 27).