NCAA suspends Oakland University’s top player 4 games, including game at Syracuse

Syracuse, N.Y. — The Syracuse Orange basketball team will face the best team from the Horizon League when it hosts Oakland University on Nov. 20 at the Carrier Dome.

But the Orange won’t have to worry about one of Oakland’s best players.

Oakland University forward Jalen Hayes has been suspended for four games, including the Grizzlies’ Nov. 20 game at Syracuse. Hayes, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 15.9 points and 8.0 rebounds last year for Oakland.

Oakland went 25-9 last season and won the Horizon’s regular season championship with a 14-4 record.

Hayes will also miss games against Fort Wayne, New Orleans and Toledo. His first game will come on Nov. 24 when Oakland plays Kansas.

The NCAA suspension is a result of a bizarre situation involving Hayes’ course of study at Oakland, according to a report by Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports.

Hayes, a fifth-year senior, is a human resources development major and is scheduled to graduate in December.

Oakland requires students in Hayes’ major to have at least a 2.8 grade point average to earn credits in that school. Hayes received a 2.5 grade in one class, which dropped him below the necessary 18 credit hours he needed to have in that semester. Because of that, the NCAA ruled Hayes ineligible for failing to make satisfactory progress toward a degree.

Initially, the NCAA suspended Hayes for the entire fall semester.

Oakland coach Greg Kampe took exception to the NCAA’s ruling since Hayes is still scheduled to graduate in December.

Oakland appealed the NCAA’s initial ruling. The NCAA reduced the suspension to four games.

“The reason we made the appeal is because the 18-hour rule is to keep a student-athlete on satisfactory progress to get his degree,” Kampa told Rothstein. “Jalen will graduate this December with a 2.9 so the basis of the appeal was that he got tripped up by the high standards of the Oakland rule.”

Syracuse opens its regular season on Nov. 10 against Cornell. The Orange will play Iona and Texas Southern before facing Oakland.

<p><a href=”http://www.syracuse.com/orangebasketball/index.ssf/2017/09/2017-18_syracuse_basketball_schedule_acc_releases_matchups.html” target=”_blank” data-enhanced=”small”> Syracuse University’s 2017-18 basketball schedule</a></p>

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