Syracuse freshman Chinoso Obokoh could lose year of eligibility due to NCAA issue

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Syracuse freshman Chinoso Obokoh didn’t play a single minute this past season, with the big man being redshirted by Jim Boeheim. The move was expected¬†to save a year of eligibility for Obokoh while allowing the freshman to develop in practice agains the likes of Rakeem Christmas and Baye Moussa Keita.

However it seems as if Obokoh won’t be preserving that season of eligibility, as it was reported by Donna Ditota of the Syracuse Post-Standard that he could lose a year due to an NCAA issue. That issue: his high school may have placed Obokoh in the wrong grade when he arrived at Bishop Kearney HS in 2010 after leaving his native Nigeria.

The school, citing his transcripts and grasp of the English language, classified Obokoh as a freshman. However according to the NCAA ruling he should have been a sophomore, meaning that Obokoh will lose a year of eligibility as a result.

The NCAA rule discourages athletes from reclassifying in high school to gain an extra year of high school competition and theoretically become more college-ready. SU coach Jim Boeheim said Obokoh did not play organized basketball in Nigeria.

“Basically, you only have a certain number of years and they’re saying when he came over here he was reclassified by the high school because he couldn’t do the work. But (the school) couldn’t do that,” Boeheim said. “They didn’t know that. And he didn’t know that. So he had an extra year (of high school).”

Syracuse has the option of appealing the decision, but according to the story that has yet to happen. So instead of four seasons of eligibility remaining, Obokoh will have just three beginning with the 2014-15 campaign.