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Tuesday / October 16.
  • NCAA Declared St. John’s Sanchez Ineligible in November, and He’s Unlikely to Ever Suit Up for Johnnies

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    The NCAA declared St. John’s senior forward Orlando Sanchez ineligible in November and he’s unlikely to ever suit up for the Johnnies, a source with direct knowledge of the case told Thursday.

    “With Sanchez, St. John’s needed a waiver due to his age/years of competition,” the source said. “They applied for a waiver and it was denied (both on initial try and on appeal) in November. It’s not an active case, but they may try resubmitting with ‘new’ information. As of now, it’s closed and considered final.”

    The 6-foot-9 Sanchez, 24, came from Monroe (N.Y.) College and is a native of the Dominican Republic.

    A 2010-11 honorable mention JUCO All-American, Sanchez averaged 8.5 points and 11.5 rebounds last season at Monroe.

    St. John’s spokesman Mark Fratto told  this week “that the process is continuing, we’re continuing to gather and submit documents.”

    But the source said any such new submissions were unlikely to change the result.

    “The bar is high,” the source said. “Odds are slim at best with new information.”

    The case is somewhat similar to last year’s case involving Seton Hall big man Kevin Johnson. first reported in late October that the NCAA had declared Johnson academically ineligible Oct. 5, despite the school’s contention that there was still a chance Johnson could be declared eligible.

    Seton Hall later filed an appeal on Johnson’s behalf, but he never suited up for the Pirates last season. Johnson is now a sophomore at Seton Hall.

    The difference now, of course, is that Sanchez is a senior and will likely never play for the Johnnies.

    He has already missed 13 games for St. John’s (8-5), which began Big East play with a 98-86 loss at Villanova Wednesday night.

    The Sanchez case also has implications for St. John’s senior forward God’sgift Achiuwa, who was planned to be a redshirt with the expectation that Sanchez would be cleared to play in the frontcourt alongside JaKarr Sampson, Christian Jones and Chris Obekpa.

    “It’s very fluid right now because we’re waiting to get the word on Orlando,” St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said in November.


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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.