Indiana’s Guy-Marc Michel has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
But its a bit of a different situation than you think.
Yes, Michel played with a professional team when he was in France. More specifically, he played with SLUC Nancy, a French League club team, as an amateur, but at the end of the 2007-2008 season, Michel was called up for five games with the pros.
The NCAA determined that Michel would be suspended for a year, and then get 10 games — two for every one he played with the pros in France — the next season. The suspension itself seems pretty unfair. Michel, by all accounts, only received necessary expenses during that time. He also seemed to make the effort to stay eligible for NCAA basketball. To get essentially the same punishment that Renardo Sidney did seems a bit excessive. But don’t ask me, ask the guys over at Inside the Hall. They rip the NCAA plenty for this ruling.
The biggest issue, however, was that Michel enrolled in classes at a French university in 2006. His high school and the college he took classes at had the same name which complicated matters a bit, as does equivalency when it comes to schooling in the states and abroad. But the NCAA has a rule called the four-in-five rule, which essentially says that from the minute an athlete steps on campus, he has five years to exhaust his or her eligibility in every sport. Its why Greg Paulus was only allowed one year to play football at Syracuse.
Throw in the two seasons that Michel spent at the Northern Idaho College, and the NCAA ruled that Michel had at most one season of college eligibility remaining. The one year suspension wipes that out.
Here is Crean’s statement through the athletic department:
We are disappointed by this decision because everyone involved in this process agrees that Guy did not intentionally do anything that would have jeopardized his ability to play here or at any of the number of institutions that also recruited him. We will regroup, assess all our options and do whatever we can for Guy, who has demonstrated to us that he deserves to be part of the IU program.
The only further demonstrates the NCAA’s unwillingness to mold their rules to allow for foreigners to get educated through their athletic talents.