St. John’s loses key power forward to academic scandal at Junior College

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Keith Thomas has been ruled academically ineligible at St. John’s, becoming the latest victim of a scandal surrounding the basketball program at Westchester Community College.

Losing Thomas is a massive blow for the Johnnies, who already have an inexperienced front line. Thomas was expected to compete for a starting spot alongside Chris Obekpa.

“Academic integrity is treated very seriously at St. John’s University and we are committed to maintaining high academic standards for all of our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Chris Monasch. “Our athletic compliance office recently became aware of information that triggered an additional review of Thomas’ academic credentials at Westchester Community College. Our assessment and decision are in accordance with University and NCAA policies.”

“We share Keith’s disappointment and as a basketball family will provide moral support during this challenging time in his life. Keith clearly has a bright future in basketball and is determined to ultimately further his education,” said head coach Steve Lavin.

This scandal first came to light on Friday, when the Journal News broke the story that former WCC head coach Richard Fields had forged the transcripts of two former players that had transferred to Florida A&M.

The NJCAA has opened an investigation into WCC as well.