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LakerMania
01-31-2003, 02:56 PM
James ruled ineligible to finish HS career

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ESPN.com news services


CLEVELAND -- LeBron James, the nation's top high school player, has been ruled ineligible to play for the rest of the season.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association ruled Friday that James violated amateur bylaws by accepting clothing as a gift.

Also, the OHSAA said that James' team, Akron Saint Vincent-Saint Mary, must forfeit its last game since James played in the contest after he forfeited his amateur status. The team is ranked No. 1 by USA Today.

This comes just a few days after James was cleared of any wrongdoing for accepting a sports utility vehicle as a gift.

Last Saturday, James was apparently given two free "throwback" jerseys worth $845 at a local clothing store. The story was first reported by The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Ohio High School Athletic Association bylaws state that an athlete forfeits his or her amateur status by "capitalizing on athletic fame by receiving money or gifts of monetary value."

More specifically, the OHSAA 2002-03 Athletic Eligibility Information Bulletin states in part that, "You may receive an award or merchandise as a result of your participation in school or non-school competition from any source, provided the value does not exceed $100 per award."

After attending a local high school game last weekend, James and some friends visited the clothing store "Next," where he picked out two jerseys -- one of Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Gale Sayers, the other of Washington Bullets center Wes Unseld.

The Sayers jersey costs $395; the Unseld jersey, $450.

Store manager Derrick Craig said the store's owner gave the jerseys to James for free.

"We get celebrities in here all the time," said Craig, who would not identify the owner. "They spend a lot of money and sometimes you just got to give them some love."

Goldring said OHSAA rules stipulate that athletes can't receive any kind of apparel worth more than $100.

And in the case of a school having a contract with an apparel company -- James' school has one with adidas -- any apparel worth more than $100 is considered school-issued and must be returned by the athlete at the end of the season.

Attorney Fred Nance, who represented James and his family, was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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Well the bright side is that at least he will be that less likely to be injured before the draft. i/expressions/face-icon-small-frown.gif

LakerMania
01-31-2003, 03:00 PM
Nevermind, I see this is already being discussed in:

LeBron James in fender bender with Hummer