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Neger Kalle
02-01-2003, 07:34 AM
Star LeBron James Loses H.S. Eligibility

By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

http://customwire.ap.org/photos/CD104013116-big.jpg



CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James accepted two trendy sports jerseys, and now has to accept the punishment: he isn't allowed to wear his high school uniform again.

The nation's top prep player - and projected NBA star - was declared ineligible as an amateur Friday by state officials for getting free "throwback" jerseys.

The decision by Ohio High School Athletic Association commissioner Clair Muscaro came four days after James, the 6-foot-8 phenom from Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary, was cleared for accepting a $50,000 sports utility vehicle from his mother.

The ruling Friday came with the swiftness of one of James' thundering dunks.

Last weekend, James was given two retro sports jerseys - valued at $845 - for free from a clothing store, the OHSAA said. The jerseys were replicas of those worn by former Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers and Washington Bullets center Wes Unseld.

Muscaro's ruling, following a 24-hour inquiry, means St. Vincent-St. Mary must forfeit Sunday's win over Akron Buchtel. The Fighting Irish (13-1), ranked No. 1 by USA Today, have five games left in the season, plus state playoff games.

"There are things that happen in life," said James' coach, Dru Joyce. "These are life's lessons."

James is consulting with a lawyer and might appeal. Gloria James said through attorney Fred Nance that the family was "deeply disappointed" with the ruling and evaluating its options.

An appeal would be heard by a state panel Feb. 13. James would miss two games before then.

"We're going to abide by the ruling," said Joyce, who would not comment on a possible appeal. "We think that maybe there are some facts that could change things."

As Joyce spoke on the steps outside the private Roman Catholic school's gym, passengers in a cars driving by shouted, "Leave LeBron alone!" and "It's all your fault!"

James' now-famous Hummer was moved after the news briefing, but it was unclear where the 18-year-old star went following his team's afternoon practice.

Even if James doesn't play another high school game, the ruling has no bearing on his future as a professional and is unlikely to prevent him from being the No. 1 selection in June's NBA draft.

Muscaro reviewed a report that James received the jerseys at "Next Urban Gear and Music" in exchange for posing for pictures to be hung in the store.

The association's rules say an athlete forfeits amateur status by "capitalizing on athletic fame by receiving money or gifts of monetary value."

"In talking with the store's personnel, I was able to confirm that on Jan. 25, the merchant gave clothing directly to LeBron at no cost," Muscaro said. "This is a direct violation of the OHSAA bylaws on amateurism."

Robert Rosenthal, the store's owner, declined comment.

Muscaro said he asked school administrators on Friday to talk to James.

"But LeBron did not want to speak with me," said Muscaro, who added in his 14 years as commissioner, he had never invoked the rule to declare an athlete ineligible.

Gloria James disputed Muscaro's account that he tried to contact her son.

"In fact, none of us was even notified by OHSAA that an investigation was under way, much less permitted to provide any information," her statement said. "We do not understand how this could be considered a fair process."

James was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a junior, dubbed "The Chosen One" by the magazine. James' popularity forced school officials to move his home games to the 5,900-seat Rhodes Arena at Akron University.

ESPN2 televised the school's Dec. 12 game against Oak Hill Academy, the network's most-watched show in two years.

The school also scheduled games around the country, so James and his teammates could face quality opponents in NBA-sized arenas in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Greensboro, N.C. A scheduled Feb. 8 game in Trenton, N.J., will go on without James, promoters said.

Nike and Adidas have been waging an off-court war for James, who was projected to earn up to $20 million for an endorsement deal.

James' ineligibility could jeopardize his expected appearance in the McDonald's High School All-American game at Gund Arena in late March.

Spokesman Bob Goldring said the OHSAA is not investigating James or the school for any other infractions. St. Vincent-St. Mary plays Canton McKinley on Sunday.

Muscaro was concerned that critics would think the OHSAA was giving James preferential treatment if he had not ruled him ineligible.

"Naturally, LeBron is talented and he's noted nationally and internationally, but as far as this association is concerned, we will treat him the same as all our other athletes," he said.

Muscaro said his ruling was not an accumulation of evidence, and it was specific to James receiving the two jerseys.

Sayers' blue No. 40 Bears jersey, and Unseld's red-white-and-blue striped No. 41, are two of the oversized throwback jerseys popular with pro athletes who can afford to buy them.

On Monday, Muscaro ended a two-week inquiry by ruling James did not violate any rules in receiving a custom-made Hummer H2 as an 18th birthday gift. Gloria James provided loan information to support her purchase.

MFFL
02-01-2003, 09:36 AM
<< Muscaro, who added in his 14 years as commissioner, he had never invoked the rule to declare an athlete ineligible. >>



That Muscaro seems like he is chasing headlines. He had never invoked the rule before but &quot;has to&quot; when it would give him some headlines of his own.

TheKid
02-03-2003, 02:54 PM
This was the most ridiculous decision I've ever heard of...

Dooby
02-03-2003, 02:59 PM
This was exactly the right decision. If LeBron wanted to cash in on his celebrity, then he doesn't want to be an amataur athlete. If he wanted to be an amataur athlete, then he shouldn't cash in on his celebrity.

I said it earlier, he should ahve gone to Europe for a year.

TheKid
02-04-2003, 09:29 AM
Dooby the man got a couple of JERSEY's.. So it's OK that everyone else is making money off of this &quot;amateur athlete&quot; but because he takes a couple of Jersey's he's at fault. They have this young man play on pay per view and generate money for the schools, etc. etc. but he's WRONG for taking a jersey?? That's called HYPOCRISY in my book....

I'm sorry I don't see anything wrong with that. There are people who don't like to see that because they feel it's unfair. Well this man is not taking money from people. He's not getting shoe contracts or anything else, HE TOOK A JERSEY...

What was the real travisty is that they were selling a Wes Unseld Jersey for $400.

Dooby
02-04-2003, 10:39 AM
Last I checked, poor LeBron drives a $60K Hummer and is all but guaranteed to get a contract in the NBA to make millions of dollars.

And so he has pissed away his chance to play in a couple of HS basketball games because he wanted a retro-Bullets jersey that cost $300. Cry me a friggin' river.

In 1 month, poor LeBron will declare his elegibility for the NBA draft and sign a contract with an agent, who will then advance him a couple of hundred thousand dollars. First order of business will be to sign a shoe contract that again pays him several million dollars, with a probable seven-figure advance.

And we are supposed to feel sorry for a kid that has to forfeit a HS basketball game because he couldn't wait a month to get a stupid jersey?

TheKid
02-04-2003, 11:13 AM
Feel sorry for him or don't feel sorry for him, I'm not saying that anyone should or shouldn't. I'm saying the decision that was made for him to be suspended was ridiculous in my eyes.

What type of car he drives means NOTHING... They checked into it, and his mother got a loan for it. How many high school kids a YEAR get cars and no one says SQUAT about it. NOW because his car was pretty expensive and he's NOT suppose to have one because people things he doesn't come from money, all of a sudden he's foolish for taking advantage.. Right.. That's NO ONES decision to make what kind of car his mother got for him or how she got it.. NO ONES... If Bill Walton's kid pulled up in a Hummer when he was in high school, it would be ok right because his father has the money to buy it so no one would care right???? Well that's NOT FOR ANYONE TO JUDGE, if the kid goes to a freakin carnival and he's short a dime for buying a soda, HE WOULD GET in trouble for it, however the average high school athlete would probably be able to go on about their business and no one would bat an eye.

Also, he's a KID, WHAT KID (I don't care who you are) would turn down a free jersey???? NOW is he the first one to get something free, HELL NO!!!!!! However he's the first to be publicized the way he is. The fact is, the powers that be made a ruling on something that is SO HYPOCRITICAL it's saddening.. THAT'S what I'm talking about. How they can say, you can't get a jersey, BUT you can play on pay per view and generate money for your conference and draw people to the school, community, etc. etc. The school can raise ticket prices and have other schools jack up ticket prices to see him to HELP high school basketball, but YOU BETTER NOT personally get anything as a result and THAT'S EXACTLY what that ruling said. Like it or don't like it, it's not fair to HIM!!!

As far as saying he cashed in, yeah, he REALLY cashed in on some jerseys.

Neger Kalle
02-04-2003, 12:30 PM
http://image.collegeclub.com/images/cc/user/matchu/299/356/1044381118270.gif

<<
And so he has pissed away his chance to play in a couple of HS basketball games because he wanted a retro-Bullets jersey that cost $300. Cry me a friggin' river.
And we are supposed to feel sorry for a kid that has to forfeit a HS basketball game because he couldn't wait a month to get a stupid jersey? >>



couldn't have said it better...http://image.collegeclub.com/images/cc/user/matchu/299/356/1044381034522.gif

MavKikiNYC
02-04-2003, 12:57 PM
<< That's NO ONES decision to make what kind of car his mother got for him or how she got it.. NO ONES >>



I think that people who oversee amateur athletic organizations have an interest here. If the rules of particiating in interscholastic leagues like that prohibit participants from accepting compensation (i.e, becoming 'professionals') then how his mother secured financing for the car does become an issue. If she received financing not because of her present ability to pay but because of her son's future ability to re-pay, then the favorable consideration that she received has has a value that is considered a benefit to James.

You might argue that he should be able to receive this kind of loan consideration, but it goes against some pretty well-established precepts of participating in amateur sports leagues.

I do have to applaud his taste in vintage jerseys--if I were ever going to own one, a Wes Unseld Bullets jersey would be near the top of my list.

TheKid
02-04-2003, 01:54 PM
Then if that's the case, why do they give insurance policies to college athletes who have the potential to go pro? They're basing AMATEUR ATHLETES potential to make money and trying to ensure it. How is that different?

I think people are scrutinizing this situation WAY too much. When it's all said and done the guy who made this ruling will WISH in a few years he decided differently.

MavKikiNYC
02-04-2003, 02:22 PM
I guess an argument can be made that a loan to pay the premiums on an insurance policy PROTECTING future earnings is a more defensible benefit than a new car.

The familiy of that Miami player had to take out a $30,000 loan, I think, to pay the premium on that policy--not word if they had the capcity to qualify for that loan otherwise. They derived no immediate benefit, such as the ability to tool around Ohio in a Hummer. If the player didn't get hurt, they derived no benefit at all. Anyway, I think the NCAA recognized this as a more legitimate type of case, and has expressly permitted it.

You may have a point about the extent to which people are scrutinizing the James case. But if there were no rules at all governing compensation for 'amateur' athletes, the world of amateur athletics would be balls-out nasty.

James's parents/advisors have by all appearances exercised absolutely no discretion or guidance with him. I think if they'd been a little bit lower profile over the last year or so, they might not've gotten so much scrutiny. But instead of protecting their son/asset, they were pretty brazen about trying to wring as much juice out of the grape before it was ripe. They probably offended a few people along the way who weren looking to nab him when the right circumstances presented themselves. Hello, jersey.

TheKid
02-04-2003, 04:11 PM
Well I'm not comparing which one is more viable because you're right, it is more viable to get an insurance policy than a car. I was saying it more to say it as if you look at the &quot;rules&quot; and what you referred to it as it's still basing an &quot;AMATEUR&quot;. Because the truth is even though alot of these athletes have their insurance policy paid by the NCAA, there are alot of athletes who get additional insurance and struggle to make the payments as well. They don't worry about it because they know future earnings will be great so they just try to INSURE they won't. NOW, you're right saying the insurance is more viable than a car but I was using it as an example that looking at it that way it's still crossing the line.

I don't see how you can say they were trying to wring anything out of him when they purchased a car for HIM and he got two jerseys.. His parents didn't get the pay per view contracts. His parents didn't get the tour for his team to travel all across the country. His parents didn't call the tv camera's and tell them to wait for him after school. I don't see them doing that. So I don't see exactly what his parents are doing wrong. Yes they probably should NOT have got that truck, but from everything I've read his parents weren't around when he took those jerseys.

To be honest, I see alot of other people trying to get them a piece of LeBron James.

LRB
02-04-2003, 04:48 PM
Maybe its just time to do away with amateur athletics all together. What's the point? And colleges should definitely do away with athletics. Each college could now support their own professional team. Pay the players and don't require them to take classes. High Schools, Junior High Schools, and even elementary schools can now sponsor their own professional teams. Why do we even have amateur athletics anymore? What purpose does it serve?

Dooby
02-04-2003, 05:02 PM
For the record, I suspect LeBron has an insurance policy. And noone has ever brought that up in the media.

LRB
02-04-2003, 05:27 PM
Dooby I for one would be highly surprised if he didn't have an insurance policy. I bet he has a stealth agent as well.

Dooby
02-04-2003, 05:34 PM
I think it is a possibility that he has an agent. The proof will be in the timing of when things get done; how soon after he gets an agent does he get a shoe contract?

jacktruth
02-05-2003, 02:42 PM
I think it is interesting how LeBron is the only one who has to be responsible for this. It used to cost $2 to see a basketball game at his school. Now, you have to pay $15 and drive to a local college stadium. Who is getting the money for that? His high school. That is what kills me. They can soak in the LeBron james river all they want but he has to keep his hands clean under a watchfull eye. I think you can even buy a LeBron James jersey nowadays. It's hypocritical and just plain ignorant.

jacktruth
02-05-2003, 02:50 PM
Set Free!
------------------------------
James ordered to sit out one additional game

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Associated Press


AKRON, Ohio -- LeBron James was cleared Wednesday to resume his high school career, but he must sit out at least one more game.

Summit County Judge James R. Williams issued a temporary restraining order that will allow the 18-year-old superstar to get back onto the court, but James must serve a two-game suspension.

James, a 6-foot-8 senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary who is expected to be the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft, already missed a game after the Ohio High School Athletic Association on Friday declared him ineligible for accepting free sports jerseys valued at $845 from a store.

In a one-hour hearing, Williams listened to arguments from OHSAA attorney Steven Craig and James' attorney, Fred Nance. The judge met with both sides in his chambers for much of the morning before bringing them into the courtroom. James did not attend the hearing.

Williams said James would suffer &quot;immediate and irreparable injury&quot; without a court order. He did not say why he overruled the OHSAA.

&quot;He wants to finish what he started,&quot; Nance told the judge. &quot;He didn't want to let himself down, he didn't want to let his team down, he didn't want to let his school down.&quot;

Nance did not absolve James for accepting the jerseys.

&quot;He's made mistakes,&quot; Nance said. &quot;He's an 18-year-old kid but he didn't deserve the ultimate sanction of losing his eligibility.&quot;

James' family planned to make a statement later Wednesday, Nance said.

Williams ordered the school to inform him by noon Thursday which game James would miss. The judge also scheduled a hearing for Feb. 19, when he will decide whether to grant a permanent injunction or go to trial.

&quot;Neither side is going to be happy,&quot; Williams said. &quot;There are a number of issues the court wants to hear.&quot;

If Williams grants a permanent order, James would regain his eligibility and the school would regain a victory it had to forfeit as part of the OHSAA ruling.

St. Vincent-St. Mary's has four games left in the regular season, three of them before the next court hearing. The team, No. 1 in the USA Today rankings for the fourth straight week, is next scheduled to play Saturday in Trenton, N.J.

Principal David Rathz was disappointed that James wasn't exonerated.

&quot;I like things clear-cut,&quot; he said. &quot;This is a tie. I don't like ties.&quot;

Muscaro attended the hearing, which attracted a media throng, including seven camera crews set up in the back of the courtroom.

Craig said he was not shocked by the decision and will begin preparing for the next hearing.

&quot;There are some facts that are in dispute and we will put forth some evidence so the court can know wherein the truth lies,&quot; he said.

Nance argued in court documents filed Tuesday that James did nothing wrong when he accepted two &quot;throwback&quot; jerseys from the owner of a Cleveland clothing store.

&quot;All LeBron did was receive a gift from a friend as congratulations for his academic achievements,&quot; Nance said. &quot;Had LeBron wished to capitalize on his fame, the recompense could be in the millions of dollars.&quot;

James says he has a 3.5 grade-point average. He has said he returned the jerseys.

The OHSAA found that the store gave James the Gale Sayers and Wes Unseld jerseys in exchange for posing for pictures to be displayed on its walls.

Muscaro ruled that James broke an amateur bylaw &quot;by capitalizing on athletic fame by receiving money or gifts of monetary value.&quot;

Muscaro's decision came four days after the OHSAA cleared James of any wrongdoing for accepting a $50,000 Hummer H2 sport utility vehicle as an 18th birthday gift from his mother.

James attended practice on Tuesday in the school's gym, wearing a gray T-shirt and blue shorts. He warmed up with his teammates and was stretching in the middle of the floor when coach Dru Joyce closed the practice.

Joyce then ordered green cloth banners to be hung over the glass doors, so no one could see inside.

MFFL
02-05-2003, 04:32 PM
<< I think it is interesting how LeBron is the only one who has to be responsible for this. It used to cost $2 to see a basketball game at his school. Now, you have to pay $15 and drive to a local college stadium. Who is getting the money for that? His high school. That is what kills me. They can soak in the LeBron james river all they want but he has to keep his hands clean under a watchfull eye. I think you can even buy a LeBron James jersey nowadays. It's hypocritical and just plain ignorant. >>



Everyone is allowed to make money off an amateur athlete except the athlete himself.

Dooby
02-05-2003, 04:46 PM
<< Everyone is allowed to make money off an amateur athlete except the athlete himself. >>



Everyone trying to make $$$ off THIS highschool athlete other than THIS highschool athlete will make less in THEIR lifetime than THIS highschool athlete will make in a single year in the NBA.

LeBron is a private HS scholarship athlete. Scholarships cost money. Screw LeBron if he isn't taking advantage of his opportunity to get an education.

Quite frankly, MFFL, your attitude, and those that voice it towards college athletics, piss me off. No offense.

MFFL
02-05-2003, 05:23 PM
I used to feel the same way you did Dooby until I realized how much money colleges make off of their scholarship athletes for football and basketball. This isn't volleyball or swimming - there is serious money going to the school in the form of TV money. The school makes money, the coaches and ADs have large salaries, and the TV networks make money. But the athlete has to remain &quot;pure&quot; and poor.

MavKikiNYC
02-05-2003, 06:31 PM
Can anyone recommend any articles, books or other references for revenue/expense flows related to intercollegiate athletics--like a major-university football or basketball program? I've read some things over the years, but can't think of anything that has painted a comprehensive picture for me of where the money comes from or where it all goes.

There certainly is the suggestion of large sums of money, but...how large? What's the gross? What does it mean for 'the school' to make money? Does that money go to fund facilities? Other athletic programs? What percentage goes to the AD? To the coach? To fund athletic department staffs who perpetuate the programs in which amateur athletes participate? Does it dissipate into the system and benefit a lot of students/student-athletes?

Not sure I've ever completely understood the scale or the mechanics of major-university athletics.

TheKid
02-05-2003, 06:43 PM
Maybe its just time to do away with amateur athletics all together. What's the point? And colleges should definitely do away with athletics. Each college could now support their own professional team. Pay the players and don't require them to take classes. High Schools, Junior High Schools, and even elementary schools can now sponsor their own professional teams. Why do we even have amateur athletics anymore? What purpose does it serve?

LRB, I ask the same question. I've said MANY times, if we can't do the athletics like they do on division 3 level, then it shouldn't be considered amateur athletics because this is BUSINESS on the college level.


Mavs Kiki, I'm not sure if there's a book out, however from attending the University of Wisconsin I did this study one year. How it breaks down (atleast in the Big Ten) for instance. Bowl games all the Big Ten schools pool the money they get and divide it up among the schools. The year of 94 there six Big Ten Schools that went to bowl games and I think they pay out was something like $18million dollars. That's divided amongst 11 Big Ten Schools.

A percentage of that goes right back into the athletic department but at Wisconsin a portion HAS to go to the University that they will use for various things. I know 94 a big chunk of money went into the Business school that was built that year. I think each school does it differently, however for the most part ALOT of that money that is generated gets put into the school. That's why schools make such a big deal out of their MONEY MAKING sports...

southern_sweets
02-05-2003, 06:45 PM
<< Maybe its just time to do away with amateur athletics all together. What's the point? And colleges should definitely do away with athletics. Each college could now support their own professional team. Pay the players and don't require them to take classes. High Schools, Junior High Schools, and even elementary schools can now sponsor their own professional teams. Why do we even have amateur athletics anymore? What purpose does it serve? >>

Is there really any such thing as amateur sports anymore? Doesn't the winning 5 year olds' soccer team get paid in pizza and soft drinks? And about the kid that played with my boys last spring on a 3 year olds' team. His daddy paid him a dollar for every goal he scored. Maybe I should start paying my kids now for athletic performance and hire someone to clean their room for them.

LRB
02-05-2003, 06:48 PM
Kiki one thing that we can look at is the salaries of some of the high profile coaches in the NCAA. Many of them make 7 figures or more. Certainly they are profiteering to a degree off the atheletes. It is not always the atheletes fault that they don't get an education. Some just aren't ready for college. Some people need a few years to mature before going to college. The whole amateur atheletics is a racquet as far as I'm concerned. Why not allow atheletes to capitalize on their fame? What would it hurt? I'm really interested in knowing why the rules shouldn't be changed.

LRB
02-05-2003, 06:50 PM
Sweets you could always start selling autographed pictures of your kids and give them a cut. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

MavKikiNYC
02-05-2003, 07:05 PM
<< Why not allow atheletes to capitalize on their fame? What would it hurt? >>



How might it work? Pay athletes a salary? How much? More than a National Merit Scholar? More than grad student-teaching assistant? More than an adjunct business professor? More than a humanities professor? More than a Nobel Prize winning professor?

How would you scale it? All football players get X dollars per month? Basketball players Y dollars per month? What about the difference in a blue-chip freshman running back and a fifth-year, 3rd team wide receiver?

What about Title IX? Would female basketball players get as much as male football players? What happens to players who get injured?

What about differences between schools? Would the Rices and the Columbias be able to pay as much as the Texases and the Texas A&amp;Ms?

Would athletes have academic obligations? Or would they be treated like employees?


One thing catches my attention: Amateur college athletes don't get paid a salary, but when one graduates, or declares himself eligible for the draft, or drops out, or gets injured or whatever......there's always another stepping up to take his place.

scooterj5
02-05-2003, 08:07 PM
Eh? Just let them do it for themselves, or pay them a small % of the profit that they directly bring in.

LRB
02-05-2003, 08:16 PM
<< there's always another stepping up to take his place. >>



Sadly the same can be said for some of the worst sweat shops in the world.i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif

Kiki we could let supply and demand govern the pay. There might have to be a salary cap insitituted by leagues. Who knows.

But why have the farse of a proteam in everything but the players getting paid? Why spend all this money to govern the amateur status of players? Why some of the ridiculous rules? Eurpoe doesn't have amateur leagues in college. Just pro leagues. What do we lose?

MavKikiNYC
02-05-2003, 10:47 PM
So should the universities dissociate themselves from the hypocrisy, farce and sweat-shot conditions of big-time sports like football and basketball and just educate people? Nothing beyond intramurals? Players go from high-school into a semi-pro or minor league? Interesting idea. But I'd hate to be the politician or university administrator trying to sell that idea.

And as far as supply and demand, I think that's what's happening--the supply of labor and the demand for their services intersect at the cost of a college education.