Former UMass player Jesse Morgan‘s NCAA basketball career may be over in a disappointing waste of talent that appears to have been entirely avoidable.
Morgan, the Minutemen’s second-leading scorer last season behind Chaz Williams, was denied his appeal to play this season after his transfer to Temple, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. UMass dismissed Morgan from school in the spring for a disciplinary reasons, meaning he made no progress toward a degree in the spring semester, violating an NCAA rule. He was appealing to the NCAA that his dismissal was excessive, but the ruling body disagreed.
Morgan’s ineligibility for the 2013-14 likely ends his college playing career. Because he sat out his freshman year as an academic non-qualifier, this season would have been his final year of eligibility on the NCAA’s five-year clock. He could transfer to an NAIA school or play overseas, but he is recovering from a knee injury he suffered in UMass’ Atlantic 10 Conference opener, further clouding his playing prospects.
The 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard would have had ample opportunity to earn playing time in the backcourt for the Owls, who are in transition after losing senior guards Khalif Wyatt and T.J. DiLeo.
If this is the end of the line for Morgan as a college player, it is unfortunate. Without his academic ineligibility as a freshman or his undisclosed rules violation last year, Morgan would have had at least one more year of eligibility. Chalk it up as another reminder that for all except the highest blue-chip one-and-done players, doing your schoolwork and maintaining good behavior does actually matter.