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

Apr 10, 2014, 12:09 AM EDT

Jim Boeheim AP

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.

  1. drewvt6 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Once again the NCAA sucks.

  2. steelerdynasty2010 - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    penalize the kid for the mistakes of the adults? sounds like the ncaa to me!

    • drewvt6 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:23 PM

      Why is it even a mistake to make sure someone succeeds in their education? It’s not as if the parents/adults involved were trying to gain some unfair athletic advantage. This isn’t some case of a kid claiming to be 18 but really being 25.

      To me it’s just another point of evidence that the NCAA isn’t about students and education whatsoever. Their real purpose is controlling an industry that uses athletes to make BILLIONS for their institutions.

  3. mogogo1 - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    If your parents started you in Kindergarten later than the NCAA likes would that also cost you a year of eligibility? What is the connection between somebody’s high school days and playing sports in college?

  4. tomtravis76 - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    So ,any kid who is held back in elementary school is somehow trying to cheat the NCAA?

    What really needs to happen is that the schools and conferences get together and create a new governing body. The NCAA is out of touch with students, families and athletics. Their main concern is money and nothing else.

  5. musketmaniac - Apr 12, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    the stench of jim Bohiem must have tipped them off

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