BREAKING NEWS: Brown's Rafael Maia Ineligible for 2011-2012 Season

The NCAA has ruled on Brown’s appeal regarding the eligibility of Rafael Maia, their heralded freshman big man from Brazil. Maia, who was considered a favorite for Ivy League Rookie of the Year, will be ineligible to play for the Bears during the 2011-2012 season, according to a source close to the team. The news comes as another blow to the Bears, who are struggling to get out of the blocks at the beginning of this season, following losses to Albany and Manhattan.

Maia’s ineligibility stems from the following NCAA rule passed in April of 2010:

“Any student‐athlete who does not initially enroll full‐time in a collegiate institution within one year or the next opportunity to enroll following the high school graduation date of the prospective student‐athlete’s class and participates in organized events after that grace year will be charged with a season of intercollegiate competition for each year of participation and must fulfill an academic year in residence at the certifying
institution before being eligible to compete.”

After graduating from high school in December of 2009 (as is the case in Brazil and most of the Southern Hemisphere), Maia went and played a PG year at Maine Central Institute. Because Maia played the entirety of his PG year at MCI, he went past the one year of post-high school graduation organized activities that the NCAA allows. Maia will be eligible to play next year, but will only have three years of eligibility remaining.

Brown is also missing co-captain and returning leading scorer Tucker Halpern, who continues to struggle with a bout of mono. The Bears return to action on November 19th, at home against Hartford.

6 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Brown's Rafael Maia Ineligible for 2011-2012 Season

  1. With Dartmouth looking much better than expected (for what little it’s worth), the Bears may be in danger of finishing in the Ivy cellar (if only a tie at, say, 3-11).

  2. With Agho out, Dartmouth may have a shot to compete for 6th too. Too early to have any real idea though. Halpern’s return should give Brown a nice boost and some of Columbia’s freshmen looked promising at the Furman game. If nothing else, the bottom half of the league will be full of fun, young teams.

  3. This sucks. I understand how this rule helps to keep players from going to a school purely for athletic purposes while not caring about school. But come on…this is the ivy league! He has to pay tuition! He should be allowed to play.

    • Completely agree. The spirit of the rule is not to punish kids like Maia who had an awkward extra six-month period thanks to school ending in December in Brazil. Additionally, the rule wasn’t passed by the NCAA until over four months after he graduated high school, so I’m sure he didn’t even know about this. A real shame all around.

  4. Tough break for Brown and Columbia. I do think this helps Yale and Princeton’s slim title hopes, though. Just a theory but…

    Harvard is somewhat vulnerable to Y & P because of their bigs, but they would have steamrolled everyone else regardless. Yale & Princeton might split with Harvard, but they’re much more vulnerable to a letdown game from middling Ivy teams. And now two possible spoilers have gotten weaker.

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