The NCAA has denied a final appeal concerning the eligibility of Sam Cassell Jr., and the former Terrapins basketball recruit is out of options at the University of Maryland.
Cassell’s eligibility was first brought under scrutiny in mid-August, a person with knowledge of the situation said, when the NCAA informed Maryland that Notre Dame Prep, the Massachusetts prep school that Cassell attended, was under investigation for “core classes” that Cassell took. He was deemed a “non-qualifier” by the NCAA.
Maryland filed a waiver to the NCAA shortly thereafter, which was subsequently denied. An appeal filed on Cassell’s behalf was also denied within the past 24 hours, effectively closing the door on Cassell’s tenure at Maryland.
“We’ve exhausted every option and made our best effort. I’m very pleased with the work that our compliance staff put in on Sam’s behalf,” Coach Mark Turgeon said Friday in a statement. “Obviously, we’re very disappointed that he will be unable to attend the University of Maryland at this time and be a part of our basketball program. We will continue to support Sam and his family in any way that we can as they determine their next steps.”
Cassell’s father, former NBA star and current Washington Wizards assistant Sam Cassell, told The Post’s Michael Lee that his son was enrolled in summer school at Maryland. Cassell, however, had not enrolled in classes for the fall semester, the person with knowledge of the situation said.
The core classes in question at Notre Dame Prep were also taken by other college basketball players who graduated from Notre Dame in 2011 and have received no discipline by the NCAA. Myles Davis, a freshman guard at Xavier, is in the same situation as Cassell, however. Davis has likewise been ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
According to the source, Cassell “did everything the NCAA asked” and maintained the proper grade-point average required to become a college athlete. However, the NCAA review began just weeks ago, and the denied appeal renders Maryland unable to retain Cassell as a student-athlete.
Cassell can try to transfer as a partial qualifier to a program that accepts such players, with hopes of taking the floor in 2013-14. The ACC, however, does not allow partial qualifiers.