Adam Zagoria 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.
Three members of Steve Lavin‘s highly ranked 2011 recruiting class were declared academically ineligible Thursday.
Amir Garrett, a 6-7 small forward, JaKarr Sampson, a 6-8 forward, and Norvel Pelle, a 6-10 center, are not eligible to suit up in the first semester.
They account for one-third of St. John’s incoming nine-man recruiting class.
Jamal White, a Junior guard and LIU transfer, was added to scholarship, bringing the Red Storm to eight total players on scholarship for the first semester, which includes a Dec. 1 game at Kentucky.
“We will continue to work with the NCAA in an effort to review Amir, Norvel and JaKarr’s cases regarding their eligibility,” said head coach Steve Lavin. “Our student-athletes and their families have been patient and cooperative throughout this review process. We are hopeful that Amir, Norvel and JaKarr will be able to join us on the court this winter, and in the classroom when the 2012 spring semester begins.”
St. John’s will continue to work with the NCAA Eligibility Center during the fall semester to attempt to secure spring enrollment for all three student-athletes. If granted, the first time Garrett, Pelle and Sampson would be able to participate in Red Storm team practice would be Dec. 19, with their first potential game participation on Dec. 21 vs. Texas Pan-American.
“The NCAA Eligibility Center informed us this afternoon that after a review, these three PSAs cannot qualify at this time,” said Director of Athletics Chris Monasch. “The University has been proactive and diligent in assisting in the reviews for each of our incoming men’s basketball student-athletes. We will continue to review what avenues the student-athletes may have to achieve their initial eligibility.”
Garrett tweeted, “All the ones that are talking bad about me, keep talkin I’m not lettin this get me down, still #stjbb I’ll be there soon!”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.