Guard Reggie Morris, a junior college transfer who sat out Howard University's second game after scoring a game-high 19 points in the season opener, was cleared to rejoin the team late yesterday, according to A.B. Williamson, the athletic department's compliance officer.
However, Coach Kirk Saulny confirmed junior point guard Ali Abdullah, the team's No. 2 scorer and assists leader last season, remains academically ineligible for the fall semester, which ends Dec. 17. In addition, Abdullah has been advised by his family physician not to play this season because of lower back pain, according to Abdullah's parents.
Meanwhile, Saulny said 6-foot-8 senior forward Garrett McCormick is taking this semester off for medical and personal reasons, and will decide soon whether to redshirt this season.
The Bison continue to be without 6-6 junior forward Donte Lincoln, a transfer from Los Angeles Technical Trade College, and 6-5 sophomore forward Darren Kennedy, a transfer from Monmouth. Both of those players are being withheld from the team during an internal investigation of whether the program violated NCAA rules.
Williamson called the matter concerning Morris "minor," but declined to discuss the issue that kept the junior guard from playing in Wednesday's home loss to Lafayette and prevented him from accompanying the team to East Lansing, Mich., on Thursday for a two-day tournament at Michigan State.
The Bison lost to the eighth-ranked Spartans, 75-45, in an opening-round game last night. Morris is expected to rejoin the Bison for today's game against Loyola (Ill.).
On Tuesday, the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Subcommittee granted freshman center Nick Dodson a waiver, making him eligible for this season. (He started Wednesday night and played 28 minutes after practicing with the team for the first time on Tuesday.)
Saulny said he had planned to make McCormick a starting forward when it became apparent that Lincoln and Kennedy would be in limbo because of the internal investigation. One of the issues being examined is the recruitment of Lincoln, whose host during his official recruiting visit was Kennedy.
A source said "it looks good" that Abdullah will regain his academic eligibility after final exams for this semester conclude. Saulny said the academic issue is only one of several items he and Abdullah need to resolve, but added he was optimistic that can be accomplished. Saulny said the team doctor and trainer are assessing Abdullah's injury.