It is known that the NCAA has very repressive rules concerning professional athletes. But with the creation of the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse and the first rulings coming out, there are more and more young athletes that will be banned from the NCAA at least for several games.
The first players that fell under this new regime are the two German prospects Fabian Boeke and Lucca Staiger. Both played for Ehingen in the 2nd German league, and decided to move to the NCAA after their high school years with the German basketball academy Urspring. They deliberately avoided any contact to professional teams and did not get paid anything for playing with Ehingen.
But as the report of DesMoinesRegister.com reports, two members of (the) German club team received stipends the NCAA determined were above actual and necessary expenses. To clarify, two players that played for Ehingen (i.e. the two US born professional players) received money for their job as professional athlete and so the whole team is considered as a professional team by the NCAA. And as Boeke and Staiger played for a “so-called” professional team despite of the amateur status the Ehingen club structure has, they will probably lose one year of eligibility in the NCAA. According to the article, “this will become a national story because this is the first one that involves a team from the Big 12 and the Pac-10, and all of a sudden these two guys aren’t going to play,” Iowa State coach Greg McDermott said. “This is precedent-setting.”
Today, I read another article about the next player that will probably fall under this rule, the Bosnian forward Nemanja Calasan from Purdue and I also found a post by ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla on his blog where he is talking about this issue.
I will follow this closely as this is probably going to be a harm for a whole lot of young European, or other International athletes, that want to combine educational progress with playing basketball on a high level, something which is very difficult to realize in the European system.