Obviously, this is not the news we all wanted to hear about our new favorite 7 footer. Turge had previously said that he was hoping for a ruling from the NCAA by friday (tomorrow). Clearly, that is not going to happen.
I believe with or without Len, the Terps ceiling this upcoming season is NIT. As far as this season is concerned, I truly don’t believe Len’s presence makes a huge difference on this season’s bottom line. Even if he does play, I do not believe it is enough to put us on the right side of the big dance’s bubble. A few people have tossed around predicted numbers for him this season, and they vary quite a bit. Personally, I’d be shocked if he averaged more than 5 points and 4 rebounds this season. I would certainly take 4 boards a game from him this season if we could get it.
Regardless, I think it is fair to say that the team will be better if Len is eligible, even if big picture wise, he doesn’t change much for the 2011-2012 season. My big concern is getting him on the court for practice and game time so that he gets much needed experience, so that he is ready to go in future seasons, when I expect us to really start competing again. Note: from the article, "Len must stop practicing with the team until his status is clarified".
Another side issue that hasn’t been discussed much. As the article points out, "Athletes who are found to have violated their amateur status are typically deemed permanently ineligible by the NCAA". Key word there: permanently. Let us hope that Len is not ruled permanently ineligible, and we never get any use out of him. While I don’t expect that to be the case, you never know.
In my mind, the major points of this article:
No decision is going to be made soon about Len's eligibility.
The NCAA is waiting to receive additional information about Len from Europe, and it might be a while before they receive requested info.
He cannot practice until a decision is made.
It is possible he will be ruled permanently ineligible (yikes).