Big 12 joins NCAA in granting exemption to players

DALLAS -- Baylor basketball players who transfer because of the school's self-imposed probation will be exempt from a Big 12 rule that they sit out a year, the conference ruled Monday.

"The council was careful to clarify in its vote that the action
was based upon the unique circumstances presented in the Baylor
situation," Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said of the ruling
by the league's Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives.

Baylor President Robert Sloan Jr. offered all players a release
from their scholarships Aug. 8 when he announced major violations
had been found in the basketball program and coach Dave Bliss

The NCAA already waived its rule requiring transfers to sit out
a year, but conference rules still applied.

The ruling means John Lucas III and Kenny Taylor, the Bears'
second- and third-leading scorers, are eligible to play this season
at different conference schools.

Lucas told KRIV-TV of Houston on Monday that he was transferring
to Oklahoma State and expected to begin classes this week. Taylor
said last week that he was transferring to Texas, which has a
scholarship available.

Lawrence Roberts, Baylor's top scorer and rebounder last season,
signed a letter of intent last week with Mississippi State and
started classes at the SEC school.

Junior Harvey Thomas, sophomore Tommy Swanson and freshman Carl
Marshall all started classes Monday at Baylor. They join four other
players who had already committed to staying.

"We have seven scholarship players on campus right now,"
Baylor sports information director Heath Nielsen confirmed Monday
night. "That includes Harvey, Marshall and Swanson."

Seniors R.T. Guinn, Matt Sayman and Terrance Thomas were all
present Friday when the school introduced new coach Scott Drew.
Junior Ellis Kidd Jr. also committed to staying after Drew's