Jan. 6, 2003
The NCAA has informed Clemson University that men’s basketball player Ori Ichaki is not eligible to play for the Tigers, or any other school this year or in the future. The national governing body of college athletics has ruled Ichaki is a professional athlete based on his previous playing experience in Israel.
Ichaki, a 6-5 forward who played in the Israeli Basketball Association, came to Clemson as a freshman this past August and has practiced with the team, but had been held out of games pending the NCAA’s final ruling. No other appeals are available.
Clemson secured the services of an outside consultant who is an expert in reinstatement issues. The role of the consultant, a former NCAA staff member, was to aid the department in its desire to explore all possible avenues for reinstatement.
“We are very disappointed with the NCAA’s decision,” said Head Coach Larry Shyatt. “We felt there were mitigating circumstances that could have worked in Ori’s favor. We appreciate the assistance we received from an outside agency that worked hand in hand with the Ichaki family lawyers. We did not want to leave a stone unturned in this process.
“Ori is a wonderful young man, an outstanding student. He fit in well with our players and had the team’s respect. We had many people working in his behalf because we think so highly of him. We certainly will help him any way we can in his future endeavors.”
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