Eligibility In Question For UConn Freshman Ryan Boatright
HARTFORD, Conn. (WFAN/AP) — Connecticut freshman guard Ryan Boatright is being held out of competition while the school and the NCAA investigate his eligibility.
UConn declined to disclose Wednesday what the issue is, but said it is not related to academics.
“Boatright will continue to practice with the team and may sit on the bench during games, but will not dress or see action while the joint review takes place,” the school said in a statement. “The university and athletic department will not be making any further comment during this ongoing process.”
Boatright was one of just 10 scholarship players on the roster at UConn, which lost two scholarships because of poor academic performance and another as a result of NCAA recruiting violations.
The defending national champions opened their exhibition schedule Wednesday night with a 78-35 rout of American International, coach Jim Calhoun’s alma mater.
Calhoun didn’t offer specifics after the game on why Boatright was out.
“We’re not going to comment on that,” he said. “It is what it is. There’s probably 35 or 40 kids right now in similar situations. We’re looking forward to getting him back.”
Boatright, who is generously listed at 6-foot in the team’s media guide, won the slam dunk competition during UConn’s annual First Night celebration last month. He was expected to see a lot of playing time this year as a backup for sophomore Shabazz Napier.
“My main focus right now is just playing,” Boatright said after practice last Friday. “I just want to play.”
Boatright, who is from Aurora, Ill., is perhaps best known for committing to play at Southern California when he was in eighth grade. He later withdrew that commitment, and a year ago verbally committed to West Virginia. He withdrew that commitment a couple of weeks after WVU recruited another point guard, and ultimately settled on Connecticut.
Boatright and Napier are the only point guards on scholarship on the team. Last week, Connecticut added another-walk-on player, guard Brendan Allen of Windsor. Coach Jim Calhoun said Tuesday that Allen was practicing at both guard spots, because of UConn’s lack of depth, and could see action on Wednesday night.
“He’s looking better every single day in practice,” Calhoun said Tuesday evening. “He’s strong. He’s 6-foot-4 and he can really defend.”
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