Report: James Southerland’s eligibility issue centers on essay – College Basketball


For the second season in a row, the Syracuse No.6 saw a key contributor declared ineligible for the competition, with senior striker James Southerland currently out.

Last year, starting center Fab Melo was declared ineligible just before the NCAA tournament, and his absence was one of the main reasons the Orange failed to reach the Final Four.

But the question now is why Southerland missed Syracuse’s 72-61 victory over Villanova, and when will the team’s top perimeter shooter be allowed to return to the ground.

According to Mike Waters of Syracuse Post-Standard the current eligibility problem can be centered around the writing of an essay. Specifically, whether or not a tutor wrote part of Southerland’s essay.

This isn’t the first time this season that an issue involving Southerland has arisen, as a question regarding receiving inappropriate benefits nearly benched him for Orange’s victory at Providence. Southerland made a payment to reimburse the receipt of benefits according to the newspaper, which allowed him to play in the match.

He would be declared ineligible on January 11, a day before the win against Villanova.

After regaining his eligibility and playing against Providence, Southerland was again declared ineligible two days later. According to two sources, the second suspension centers on an essay.

A source said the NCAA was wondering if a tutor wrote part of Southerland’s essay.

There has also been a change in staff at Syracuse, as director of basketball operations Stan Kissel resigned last month and was replaced by former Syracuse graduate assistant Tim O’Toole.

Kissel had worked at Syracuse University since 2005. Kissel served as the program liaison in the academic services department, according to the 2011-12 team media guide.

It’s not clear if Kissel’s resignation has anything to do with Southerland’s situation or the NCAA investigation.

Questions regarding the personnel changes can be left for another day, but the big question for the Orange remains where will they get consistent perimeter fire if there is no resolution on what concerns the eligibility of Southerland.

Among the Syracuse players who attempted at least 50 three-pointers (four), the Brooklyn senior was the most precise, as he hit 38.4% from a distance. The best shooter of the other three players? Brandon Cheats, which only shoots 31.4% out of three.

And with Southerland averaging 13.6 points per game off the bench, Jim Boeheim needs his other reserves to increase his production, but with the youth of these players it is more reasonable to expect more offensively from Cheat and CJ Fair. .

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.



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