Tuesday, November 30, 2010
No Guy – Indiana Will Have To Find New Inside Answer
Remember all that talk about 7-foot junior college center Guy-Marc Michel being the answer to Indiana’s inside inconsistency.
Forget it. It looks like he’ll never play for the Hoosiers.
It’s complicated, but basically the NCAA ruled Michel signed a professional contract and will run out of college eligibility before completing the penalty. He can work out individually with IU coaches, but he can’t practice or play with the team. He will be on scholarship for this season.
So what does this mean? Tom Pritchard, Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco have to pick up the inside pace because they are now frontcourt.
Yes, 6-9 Christian Watford can handle some of the inside duties, and coach Tom Crean expects him to be close to getting a double-double in every game, but Watford is not the inside anchor in this system. Crean wants him to use Watford’s athleticism and versatility to do damage from behind the three-point line as well as inside the paint.
Michel, a native of the Caribbean Island of Martinique, has a 7-7 wingspan that would have made him an imposing inside presence. His forte was blocking shots, rebounding and defense. He was a work in progress when it came to offense, and he had to improve his fitness, but the potential was there.
It just never will become reality for the Hoosiers.
The NCAA ruled Michel is ineligible because of amateurism violations for his participation on a French sports club team that the NCAA considers professional. He played five games with professionals during the 2007-2008 season.
Also, because Michel originally enrolled at a French university in 2006, his five-year clock for NCAA Division I participation would expire before he could regain eligibility for the amateurism violations.
The amateur violation occurred when Michel signed an agreement with the French club team that he could be called up to a higher level team that included pro players. The NCAA considered that a professional contract.
The penalty in this situation is one year for signing a pro contract, plus two games suspended for every game played. That means Michel would sit out this season, plus the first 10 games of next season.
However, Michel’s five-year NCAA eligibility ends in the spring.
Julie Cromer, IU Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Administration, called the situation “unique” and “complicated.” She said Michel was not paid to play.
Michel hadn’t played all season as Indiana and the NCAA tried to resolve the matter. He had originally been recruited by assistant coach Steve McClain while McClain was at Colorado. When he came to Indiana, the interest continued.
Michel played on the U-20 French National Team. He also spent two years at Northern Idaho College. He averaged 7.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.1 blocks last season.
“We are disappointed by this decision because everyone involved in this process agrees that Guy did not intentionally do anything that would have jeopardized his ability to play here or at any institution that recruited him,” IU coach Tom Crean said in a university release. “We will regroup, assess all our options and do whatever we can for Guy, who has demonstrated that he deserves to be part of the IU program.”