He went from the 34th-best player in the country to a player working back from injury to one used sparingly, and now Mookie Jones has reportedly called it quits at Syracuse.
“I’m done playing at Syracuse,” Jones told the Post-Standard at a Summer League game in Utica, N.Y.
According to the report, Jones still wants to finish his degree at Syracuse, being that he is under scholarship as long as he is enrolled at the university, but is set on pursuing a basketball career overseas, as well.
The case of Jones at Syracuse has been a complicated one.
He missed most of his true freshman season with a hip injury and received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA. He then played two and a half seasons in a Syracuse uniform, with his best season coming in 2009-10 when he averaged 5.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
It was this past season that things got especially complicated with Jones, who was accused of cyberbullying a female student at Syracuse and was suspended for one year by the school’s Judicial Review Board.
Between semesters, though, he left the team for what were reportedly deemed “personal reasons,” and now is reportedly leaving the team for good.
As Jones’ legal hung overhead, he needed to find a way to balance the academic requirements that come along with college basketball, including that he needs to finish his degree in five years, as the Post-Standard lays out.
“The NCAA requires its Division I athletes to abide by rule 14.2.1 — commonly called the “five-year rule” — as they compete in college sports. That rule stipulates that athletes must finish their careers within five calendar years. The clock starts ticking the month the athlete enters school.”
Syracuse finished last season with an overall record of 31-2 in 2011-12, but will losing key pieces Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph, and Fab Melo for next season.