Syracuse Basketball: Chino Obokoh Just Lost A Year Of Eligibility

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

SU's freshman center lost a year of college basketball eligibility over improper classification by his high school.

The 2013-2014 Syracuse Orange basketball season included many things we're used to seeing out of a Syracuse basketball season, but it was also lacking in one key thing. The yearly mid-to-late season academic/clerical issue.

Apparently it decided to wait until after the season is over.

Chinonso Obokoh, Syracuse's freshman center, has lost a year of college basketball eligibility because the NCAA ruled that his Rochester high school improperly classified him as a student when he arrived from Nigeria.

At issue, essentially, is how many years Obokoh spent in high school. He came to the United States and Bishop Kearney High School from Nigeria in May 2010. He was classified, by Bishop Kearney personnel, as a freshman that year based upon his transcripts from Nigeria and his proficiency in English.

"Basically, you only have a certain number of years and they're saying when he came over here he was reclassified by the high school because he couldn't do the work. But (the school) couldn't do that," Boeheim said. "They didn't know that. And he didn't know that. So he had an extra year (of high school)."

Chino got stuck in a nebulous NCAA requirement (are there any other kind?) that decides for itself what constitutes a year's worth of knowledge in Nigeria versus a year's worth of knowledge in the U.S. Obokoh also probably drew attention for the fact that he's already 20-years-old.

So what does it all mean? It means that the redshirt freshman, who would have entered next season with four full seasons of eligibility, will now be treated like a normal freshman with three more seasons remaining. It's not the worst thing in the world but it's not great either, especially when you hear Boeheim talk about how much development Obokoh still needs on the court ("He's not an offensive player, he's a pretty good defender and rebounder.").

Syracuse can appeal the ruling but Boeheim said no decision has been made. And so it goes...

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