Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Guy-Marc Michel Out Until Further Notice
Once again the unexpected hits Indiana basketball.
This was a blind-side job for those outside the program. An hour before tipoff of Indiana’s exhibition victory over Franklin a press release appeared stating that 7-foot center Guy-Marc Michel was ineligible until further notice, although he is still practicing.
Michel apparently briefly played for a French pro team, or at least a team that had some pro players on it, a couple of years ago. He was an amateur at the time. European rules regarding amateur and pro are different than they are in the United States. This has caused problems with other international players before.
What does it mean for IU? Maybe nothing, although it’s possible Michel could be suspended for the number of games he played for the team. Or, if he was paid, he could be ruled a professional and forever banned from playing college basketball.
The NCAA will sort all that out.
The release said this happened sometime between the time Michel graduated from high school in France and when he attended North Idaho Community College. He played for a French amateur club team for three years. In the third year he was “called up for limited participation with a team that included professional players.”
“Given the experiences of other international student-athletes who have participated in European basketball systems,” coach Tom Crean said in the release, “we anticipate some extended review of Guy’s status.
“We also appreciate the NCAA’s increased understanding of the circumstances facing international student-athletes, which led to recent rule changes that permit immediate eligibility for entering freshmen with the same competitive experiences as Guy.
“With these factors in mind, we are hopeful for a positive resolution to Guy’s case within the coming weeks.”
Left unanswered was when this was discovered and why it wasn’t discovered earlier, including before the Hoosiers actually signed Michel out of North Idaho Community College.
Crean said he’s working with athletic director Fred Glass and the compliance department to resolve this with the NCAA.
“This has been a process going on for some time. It’s a team effort to prepare for what we needed to do for this. We knew the potential for this was coming. It doesn’t change anything in practice. I didn’t tell the team until (Wednesday). We’ll get him ready like he’s playing.”
Michel was recruited to be the strong inside defensive and rebounding presence IU has lacked the last two seasons. He’s raw offensively, although he is improving. He averaged 7.1 points and 7.3 rebounds last season for Northern Idaho.