On Monday morning, Alabama freshman Collin Sexton was announced as one of 32 players on the preseason watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy for the national player of the year.
Later Monday, the school announced the point guard will not be on the floor to start the season as he has yet to be declared eligible by the NCAA due to details in court records stemming from the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball.
“The NCAA informed us late this afternoon that Colin Sexton has not had his eligibility reinstated by the NCAA,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said in a statement. “We don’t have any further information at this time, but we will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and work toward a resolution that results in Colin’s timely reinstatement.
“While we are disappointed, the right decision was to err on the side of caution for tonight’s exhibition game.”
After Monday’s exhibition against Alabama-Huntsville, the Tide play Memphis on Friday in their season-opener. Sexton’s absence will certainly be a huge blow to Avery Johnson’s program if it extends far into the year. The 6-foot-3 Georgia native was a consensus top-10 player in the 2017 class.
Alabama basketball administrator Kobie Baker resigned earlier this fall as part of the scandal. Baker is reportedly “Staff Member 1” in federal court records, and is alleged to have accepted money from a cooperating witness in the investigation in return for introducing the FBI informant to the father of a highly-rated recruit, who is believed to be Sexton.
Alabama is not the only program that is dealing with eligibility issues stemming from the federal investigation. Auburn is sitting a pair of players while Louisville may be forced to do the same with freshman Brian Bowen.
Ten people, including four assistant coaches, were arrested in late September as part of the probe.