<
>

Presbyterian runs into NCAA roadblock

Presbyterian believed it was entering its final year of the transition phase to Division I, but the NCAA has added another year to the process and now the program won't be able to qualify for the NCAA tournament until at least 2013, according to The Herald.

While actually getting a bid to the tournament in the near future might have seemed unlikely given Presbyterian's last-place finish in the Big South last season, the new NCAA timetable has denied that opportunity to players who had been redshirted in expectation of being able to play for the Big Dance.

According to the report, the NCAA ruling came as a surprise to school officials.

Coach Gregg Nibert has been building his team in preparation of being postseason-eligible for the 2011-2012 season.

He redshirted three of his top players -- all juniors -- last season in an attempt to take the Big South title when those players were seniors. The three players, point guard Pierre Miller, guard Josh Johnson and center Al'Lonzo Coleman, will not have that opportunity now.

[Athletic director Brian] Reese sympathized with Nibert and his team.

"To be honest, this is huge for [Miller, Johnson and Coleman]. They were staying here an extra year in hopes of being able to go to the postseason," Reese said.

Yes, Presbyterian could still qualify for the NIT, CBI and CIT in the next two seasons.

But after its entire junior class sat out for a year for the chance to go to the NCAA tournament, now it appears it will have exhausted its eligibility by the time the Blue Hose become eligible to dance.