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.
Moe Hicks, the Director of Basketball Operations at St. John’s, gave a written statement Wednesday to the NCAA regarding his past involvement with incoming St. John’s player Maurice Harkless, according to a source with direct knowledge.
“He had to give a statement yesterday,” the source said.
St. John’s declined comment, other than to confirm they are working with the NCAA on the matter.
As first reported Wednesday night by ZAGSBLOG, St. John’s is working with the NCAA to decide whether the 6-foot-8 Harkless, the jewel of Steve Lavin’s nine-man recruiting class, will be eligible to play at St. John’s next season.
At issue is whether Hicks, the former program director with the New York Gauchos AAU program, is considered by the NCAA an “individual associated with a prospect,” or IAWP as it relates to Harkless.
Harkless played two events with the Gauchos in the spring of 2010, but Hicks did not coach the team.
St. John’s, therefore, is arguing Hicks is not an IAWP as it relates to Harkless.
According to NCAA Bylaw 11:4:2, ”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.”
“This rule negatively affects everyone involved,” the source said. “First and foremost, this rule negatively affects Maurice Harkless who made a decision where he wants to go to college and that decision can be in jeopardy by a rule that’s totally out of control.
“Secondly, it negatively effects a young coach [Hicks] who’s probably done more over his high school coaching career to help young people and develop talent than half of the full-time coaches in the Big East. He should be a full-time coach anyway and they wouldn’t have this problem.”
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.