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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
NCAA denies appeals for additional seasons

By Diamond Leung

A couple of all-conference-caliber players recently saw their college careers officially come to an end after the NCAA denied their appeals to have a fifth year to play.

For Eastern Illinois guard Tyler Laser, it all came down to one game.

Laser played in 10 games this past season and averaged 11.4 points coming off a junior year in which he was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference first team. Season-ending surgery after the 10 games also ended his career.

Because the Panthers played only 29 games that season, Laser had played one game over the participation limit [30 percent of the season] that would have allowed him to gain back the additional year.

Just how badly did Laser want to play? He had already graduated in May and will now look at playing overseas.

Missouri State will also lose a double-digit scorer off its Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship team after 6-foot-9 Will Creekmore had his appeal denied, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

Creekmore would have been the Bears' second-leading returning scorer (11.3) and rebounder (6.5) after a season that earned him second-team All-MVC honors. According to the paper, he appealed that his four games at Boston University were plagued by injury issues before transferring and playing 2 1/2 seasons, but it was to no avail.
"The longer it took, the better I felt my chances were," Creekmore said. "They could have given me a quick no."

Waiting until July to find out if a college career is indeed over has to be difficult, and the NCAA currently still has cases to sort through. Additional seasons have been granted to players including BYU's Chris Collinsworth, Virginia's Mike Scott and Weber State's Damian Lillard, but for those who had their hopes up and will no longer be able to don the school uniform, it can't be easy to take.