What's new

James ruled ineligible, plans to appeal decision

G

Guest

Guest
James ruled ineligible, plans to appeal decision

Credit ESPN.com

CLEVELAND -- High school basketball star LeBron James was ruled ineligible to play for the rest of the season because he accepted free clothes.

The decision Friday by the Ohio High School Athletic Association comes four days after James, a senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary, was cleared for accepting a $50,000 sport utility vehicle as a gift from his mother.

A source close to James told ESPN.com that James would appeal the decision.

Last Saturday, James was given two retro sports jerseys from a clothing store. The jerseys, honoring former Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers and former Washington Bullets center Wes Unseld, cost a combined $845.


James' school must forfeit Sunday's game, the association said in a news release.


The 6-foot-8 James is considered the best high school player in the country and is expected to be the top player selected in June's NBA draft.

Ohio High School Athletic Association bylaws state that an athlete forfeits his or her amateur status by "capitalizing on athletic fame by receiving money or gifts of monetary value."

More specifically, the OHSAA 2002-03 Athletic Eligibility Information Bulletin states in part that, "You may receive an award or merchandise as a result of your participation in school or non-school competition from any source, provided the value does not exceed $100 per award."

As for what lies ahead beyond high school, nothing really has changed for James. Under NBA rules, he cannot become a free agent and start his pro career early. In order to become a free agent, an athlete must have been eligible for one NBA draft. James has not been eligible for an NBA draft and does not become eligible for the upcoming June 25 draft until his high school senior class graduates in early June.

While James was not planning on playing college basketball, an NCAA official said Friday that James was not eligible even before the jersey infraction.

Citing extra benefits the NCAA says James received regarding lodging and transportation at Nike's summer camp as well as other infractions, an NCAA official said, "LeBron James would not have been certified at any institution in the NCAA. He would have been initially ineligible."

James refused to comment about the jerseys Thursday night at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards; he was honored as the area's top high school athlete for the second straight year. He did allude to "all the controversy that's going on with me'' during his acceptance speech.


"I'd like to thank my teammates for helping me through all this,'' he said. "It will be in the paper, but remember, I'm on the honor roll with a 3.5 grade-point average.''


Earlier this month, James drew attention in Akron by driving around a new custom-made Hummer H2, which he received as a present for his 18th birthday. His mother, Gloria James, provided loan information to prove she had purchased the vehicle.


On Monday, OHSAA commissioner Clair Muscaro ruled that James would not lose his eligibility for accepting the vehicle.


Muscaro said he asked school administrators at St. Vincent-St. Mary on Friday for a chance to speak with James.


"But LeBron did not want to speak with me,'' Muscaro said, adding that James is the first athlete he has declared ineligible in his 14 years as commissioner.


"I think this sends a message that we are all about fairness,'' Muscaro said. "LeBron is being treated like any one of the thousands of student-athletes in Ohio.''


Muscaro said his ruling addressed only the issue of James receiving the two jerseys.


"Naturally, LeBron is talented and he's noted nationally and internationally, but as far as this association is concerned, we will treat him the same as all our other athletes.''

The Sayers jersey costs $395; the Unseld jersey, $450.

Store manager Derrick Craig said the store's owner gave the jerseys to James for free.

"We get celebrities in here all the time," said Craig, who would not identify the owner. "They spend a lot of money and sometimes you just got to give them some love."
 

Das Texan

Loria can kiss my ass
Moderator
VIP
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
21,011
Reaction score
39
Points
98
It was bound to happen.




First there is that 'questionable' auto loan.


Then there is the fact that he is an idiot and needs to learn how to drive.


Now this.


I am not surprised and it should be interesting to see what happens to him next year in the Association.
 

Rune

Muckdog
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
6,260
Reaction score
0
Points
36
I hate these "retro Fashion" jerseys that I see guys who probally do not even know who the hell there wearing.

I bet James does not know what movie was made about Sayers and a freind of his.

Back on topic, he better buy all his teamates a Hummer after this. If I remember wasn't his team a top team in the nation(although I don't know how you determine where to rank who)
 

Mephisto

Muckdog
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
3,337
Reaction score
0
Points
36
This is stupid if is not like a collage team is giving him stuff or an agent. Is just a store owner giving him a gift. I dont mind too much now, but if the heat get the 1st overall pick i sure will.
 

Das Texan

Loria can kiss my ass
Moderator
VIP
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
21,011
Reaction score
39
Points
98
its called an amateur athlete should know better than to accept gifts.....




that is just not very intelligent of lebron.
 

Mephisto

Muckdog
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
3,337
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Why cant they just give him a break? It seems as if they have being waiting for him to mess up or something...
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom