The Cincinnati Bearcats have a secret weapon, a weapon that could potentially help them make a deep run into March. Unfortunately for the Bearcats and their fans they won’t be seeing that weapon this season. That weapon goes by the name of Jamaree Strickland.
Many people do not know who Strickland is, unless you follow Bearcats basketball closely or the recruiting process you don’t know him. One organization that does know him is the NCAA, and they are not about to let Strickland set foot on a basketball court until they say so.
Strickland has been ruled academically ineligible for the season after the NCAA ruled that the credits Strickland received while attending MetWest High School in Oakland, California. What comes into question here are 8 courses that Strickland took while attending MetWest, a school his parents thought would be better academically for Strickland than his previous school McClymonds High School also in Oakland.
Strickland attended MetWest his junior year, he played in no games while attending MetWest due to his torn ACL. For his senior season Strickland moved across country to attend Queen City Prep in Harrisburg, North Carolina, having played in only six games there he signed with Cincinnati.
Cincinnati meanwhile had no idea Strickland would be ruled academically ineligible. When they did find out in January 2013 they assumed he may miss half a season or something along those lines. Having appealed to the NCAA multiple times, and being denied multiple times they must now face the fact that Stickland will not be apart of the 2013-2014 Bearcats basketball team.
Stickland can have no contact with coaches while they are instructing other players, meaning he cannot practice. He cannot travel with the team, go to the team hotel, he can’t even eat at a team meal even though he is on scholarship.
Like any 19 year old kid when your whole world comes crashing down because of something out of your hands you become depressed and lose focus. Strickland though has overcome that, he is passing all of his classes and is preparing for next season.
What doesn’t make sense is why is Strickland who is passing his college classes not allowed to play? The NCAA appears to be saying they value high school credits over university credits in a sense. If Strickland is passing college courses he should be academically eligible, regardless of what happened two years ago. At the end of the day he was still admitted into The University of Cincinnati.
Once again the NCAA and their almighty power have stepped on the dreams of yet another kid just trying to make it. While I don’t thing the NCAA is making an example of Stickland they are certainly setting a precedent.
In the meantime though Stickland continues to shoot until he can’t shoot anymore after practices are over. As for the games, you can see him in the student section watching, and waiting for his turn. Knowing if he was out there he could take some of the pressure off of Justin Jackson. Imagine how much better Jackson would be if Strickland was there to help him out.
Feel free to tweet @NCAA and tell the #FreeJamaree.