Arkanas basketball signee not eligible

Updated: August 22, 2003, 4:30 PM ET

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas basketball signee Julius Lamptey has failed to meet eligibility requirements at his second Southeastern Conference university and will not play for the Razorbacks this season, coach Stan Heath said Friday.

The 7-foot, 280-pound center was part of Heath's first full recruiting class, which included guards Ronnie Brewer, Olu Famutimi and forward Vincent Hunter.

"We will continue to assist Julius in helping him move his life forward," Heath said. "He has to decide what he wants to do next. Junior college is a viable option, but the most important thing is for Julius to make a decision and move ahead."

Lamptey, who originally signed with Georgia in 2001 and didn't qualify, will not enroll at Arkansas as a partial qualifier, according to university spokesman Robby Edwards.

That means Lamptey's scholarship will now be added to the four Heath had to give his 2004-05 recruiting class. Heath could bring a new recruit after the semester break, but that is unlikely and he is not pursuing that option, Edwards said.

Heath has received commitments from Al Jefferson, a 6-9, 260-pound forward who is listed as the nation's top recruit by some services, and Steven Hill, a 6-11, 222-pound center from Branson, Mo. Heath will have three more scholarships to offer.

Edwards said now that Lamptey has been denied admission to Arkansas, he is now a recruitable athlete, so Heath will be limited in what he can say about him.

Lamptey graduated from Oklahoma City Northeast, but he played at New Hampton School last year, a prep school in New Hampshire where he averaged 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds a game.

He originally signed with Georgia coming out of high school, but he didn't meet academic requirements and he enrolled at New Hampton School.

Lamptey averaged 17.3 points, 13.5 rebounds and 8.1 blocks per game to help Northeast to a 19-8 record and the Class 4A state championship as a senior. He also averaged 15.8 points and 13 rebounds as a junior.

Brewer, Famutimi, Hunter and walk-on freshman Preston Cranford will begin working out with the Razorbacks on Monday in preparation for the team's trip to Cancun, Mexico, to play in four exhibition games.

Arkansas' returning players have been practicing this week for the trip and the freshmen are eligible to join workouts when school starts on Monday.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index