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.
I just got off the phone with Alif Muhammad for the second time in two days and he reiterated and clarified a few things regarding the Keon Lawrence situation.
The bottom line is that Muhammad, Keon and Keon’s mother decided that it is not worth it for Lawrence to play the remainder of the Big East season if the NCAA Clearinghouse declares him eligible after Jan. 5. He would miss three Big East games at that point.
Therefore, Muhammad and Lawrence faxed a letter yesterday to the Seton Hall compliance department expressing their desire to withdraw the request for a waiver.
“I talked to Keon and I talked to his mother,” Muhammad said. “They came to my office and we sent a letter to Seton Hall compliance that he wants to remove his application for hardship. We faxed them and they acknowledged they received it. HE wants to sit out the rest of the year.”
So even if the NCAA were to approve the waiver, Muhammad said the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Lawrence would not accept it.
“He still has the right not to accept it,” Muhammad said. “He could get a waiver but he has the right not to accept it. Seton Hall has the responsibility to tell them [the NCAA] on Jan. 5 that the kid has changed his mind. They have to represent the player. Keon is very happy that he’s here, but it didn’t work out so it’s unfair to the kid.”
Muhammad said Lawrence had several grades he could not transfer from Missouri to Seton Hall and that’s why the waiver was not submitted until December.
“When he transferred he had four C-minuses and 20 credits that didn’t transfer,” Muhammad said. “Seton Hall has it where you have to have a ‘C’ or above [to transfer credits].”
Muhammad said Keon’s mother was prepared to drive her son to Virginia Monday night for the James Madison game had he received his waiver in time.
“His mother was going to drive him to James Madison University if he got the waiver,” Muhammad said. “He had his bags packed to go help his team. But it’s getting crazy now. It was a bad situation.”
MUhammad added that the PIrates can be a “top five” Big East team next year with Lawrence, Herb Pope and Melvyn Oliver.
“This man [Bobby Gonzalez] is going to have a top five team in the Big East,” he said.
DEANDRE KANE UPDATE
Still no comments from DeAndre Kane on his visit to Seton Hall and reported verbal. He is laying low and apparently Patterson coach Chris Chaney and the Seton Hall coaches are both having trouble touching base with him. If I hear anything further, I’ll post it.
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.