Monday, November 10, 2008
West academically ineligible to play for Vols this season
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Freshman point guard Daniel West has been determined academically ineligible to play for No. 14 Tennessee this season, coach Bruce Pearl announced Monday.
He had not practiced with the Vols since team workouts began Oct. 17 because of the eligibility clearance issue.
"The frustration is he passed many checks and balances and was in summer school and did very well," Pearl said. "To get the rug pulled out from underneath you is certainly disappointing."
Pearl said that he didn't originally expect West to have an academic issue and that the freshman had done well during summer school courses. He declined to speak more about the specific issue because of privacy concerns.
West, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound native of Saginaw, Mich., was expected to share time at the point with junior college transfer Bobby Maze and junior guard J.P. Prince.
Ramar Smith, the starting point guard last season, was dismissed from the team at the end of the season.
Maze will start and likely see significant playing time with some help from Prince and junior Josh Tabb. The Vols also have walk-on point guard Michael Hubert.
Prince was sidelined when he injured his right shoulder during a fall in practice on Oct. 28 and was expected to have a three- to five-week recovery period. Pearl said it would be evaluated late this week whether Prince could play Saturday when Tennessee opens the season against Chattanooga.
Maze, a junior, said he was disappointed that West wouldn't be playing but didn't feel it changed anything about his own game.
"I always expected to start and get a lot of playing time since I've only got two years to play," Maze said.