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Wednesday / October 26.

NCAA Rule Says Jones Can’t Enroll at St. John’s (UPDATED)

***UPDATE: Player says Jones to St. John’s unlikely***

Arizona transfer Lamont “Momo” Jones cannot enroll at St. John’s this year because Moe Hicks is on staff, according to an NCAA rule implemented in 2010.

Here is the exact wording of NCAA Bylaw 11.4.2:

“In men’s basketball, during a two-year period before a prospective student-athlete’s anticipated enrollment and a two-year period after the prospective student-athlete’s actual enrollment, an institution shall not employ (or enter into a contract for future employment with) an individual associated with the prospective student-athlete in any athletics department noncoaching staff position.”

It goes on to say:  “If an institution hires an IAWP [individual associated with a prospect] for a noncoaching staff position within two years on either side of enrollment, involved S/A will be permanently ineligible for competition at offending institution.”

NCAA spokesman Chuck Wynne was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Hicks coached Jones for two years at Rice High School before Jones left Rice to spend his junior season at American Christian (Pa.). He finished up at Oak Hill Academy.

Hicks was hired at St. John’s on June 1, 2010, meaning St. John’s could not bring in any of his former players until June 1, 2012.

After the hiring, it was understood that St. John’s could not recruit a player such as Kadeem Jack or Jermaine Sanders, who both starred at Rice under Hicks. Jack ultimately landed at Rutgers and Sanders at Cincinnati.

Even if Hicks were to leave for another job, St. John’s would still be prohibited from recruiting one of his former players, the St. John’s source.

The New York Post reported recently that it was a done deal that Jones would transfer to St. John’s, and at least one national pundit blindly concurred.

In today’s editions, the Post said the situation is now in flux because of the rule.

Dermon Player, the former St. John’s and Seton Hall assistant who is advising Jones on his transfer, said St. John’s, Seton Hall, UConn, Hofstra and Iona are among the schools that have inquired about Jones, who said he wanted to transfer to be closer to his Harlem home and his ailing grandmother.

Player said nothing was done and he was waiting for Jones to return East this week.

Both St. John’s and Jones have interest in one another, multiple sources with knowledge said, with one key source adding that the first Post report was “premature.”

But if Jones were to spend the upcoming season at another institution and then attempt to enroll at St. John’s in 2012, that might be an option.

“There are ways to get this done,” a source with knowledge said. “It depends on how badly both sides want it.”

(Photo courtesy Tucson Citizen)

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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.

Latest comments

  • NY Post blew it big time.
    AZ knows Arizona. Not those others.

    PS- MoMo would be welcomed back to Arizona. He can finish 9 months their.

    Transfers can be reversed. No problem.

  • Some of the people around MoMo Jones are just IDIOTS!
    Lets see if MoMo is smart and gets rid of those diseases.

    Just Idiots.

    ps- if MoMo had a smart person, he would file for an exception. Fire Hicks and illness hardship.
    These TWO may get approved by NCAA.


  • Good.. not to sound like a callous turd regarding his grandmother’s health, but.. this kid moves too much. He could stand learning a little bit about hunkering down in the face of adversity. When the going gets tough, MoMo gets going.

    I know this won’t effect the fact that he will ultimately land at an EC school.. but maybe he will learn from this. You can’t just uproot yourself from every adverse situation you’re faced with. Sooner or later, now being MoMo’s later, you’re going to have to march to the tune of someone else’s drum.

    Preaching to the choir here.. but MoMo, EVERYONE is faced with the declining health of their loved ones. It’s not an excuse to turn your back on an institution that’s provided you with a free education, and a platform to be a student athlete. You’re a household name to anyone who cares a pittance about CBB, and to that you owe the U of A and Coach Miller.

    Stop running, man-up, and deal with adversity like an adult, instead of an entitled basketball player with too many idiots in his his ear.

  • AZ,

    Is this the Kansas “will cheat at-will” rule.
    (due to the father being hired)

    The intent of the rule is to prevent such Kansas blantant cheating.

    Thus, in MoMo case– the arguement is one: based on MoMo travels,there is no way MoMo to StJohn is an arranged situation. MoMo was at Oak (the primary school of his recruitment. Rice was essentially removed and one can not view him as MoMO HS coach. The HS coach of influence is Smith).
    MoMo stayed at Arizona for two years and would of continue- if not for grandmother health reasons.

    The arguement is winnable – in front of the NCAA.
    He can probably get a special/accelerated hearing on his matter.

    Note- But, MoMo needs to get rid of those idiots around him. Very quickly. Those idiots are saying everything is fine but, can not even put their position on paper.
    MoMo is a grown man and should know the BS coming from his “inner circle”.

  • AZ,

    The POST is back tracking with their head in the a$$.

    You made the Post look like idiots!
    A real beat down.

    Kansas will do anything ,include cheating, to win.

  • jessie jessie, why are you knocking ku? this article didn’t mention kansas from what i can see.