Skip to comments.HS hoops star LeBron James ruled ineligible
Posted on 01/31/2003 2:02:40 PM PST by Lost Highway
CLEVELAND - High school basketball star LeBron James was ruled ineligible to play for the rest of the season because he accepted free clothes.
The decision Friday by the Ohio High School Athletic Association comes four days after James, a senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary, was cleared for accepting a $50,000 sport utility vehicle as a gift from his mother.
Last Saturday, James was given two retro sports jerseys from a clothing store. The jerseys, honoring former Chicago Bears (news) running back Gale Sayers and former Washington Bullets (news) center Wes Unseld, cost a combined $845.
James' school must forfeit Sunday's game, the association said in a news release.
The 6-foot-8 James is considered the best high school player in the country and is expected to be the top player selected in June's NBA draft.
St. Vincent-St. Mary has five games left in the season, in addition to playoffs.
After reviewing a report about the jerseys, the association said James received them in exchange for posing for pictures to be hung on the store's walls.
The association's rules state that an athlete forfeits amateur status by "capitalizing on athletic fame by receiving money or gifts of monetary value."
"In talking with the store's personnel, I was able to confirm that on Jan. 25 the merchant gave clothing directly to LeBron at no cost," OHSAA Commissioner Clair Muscaro said. "This is a direct violation of the OHSAA bylaws on amateurism, because, in fact, LeBron did capitalize on athletic fame by receiving these gifts."
James refused to comment about the jerseys Thursday night at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards; he was honored as the area's top high school athlete for the second straight year. He did allude to "all the controversy that's going on with me" during his acceptance speech.
"I'd like to thank my teammates for helping me through all this," he said. "It will be in the paper, but remember, I'm on the honor roll with a 3.5 grade-point average."
Earlier this month, James drew attention in Akron by driving around a new custom-made Hummer H2, which he received as a present for his 18th birthday. His mother, Gloria James, provided loan information to prove she had purchased the vehicle.
On Monday, Muscaro ruled that James would not lose his eligibility for accepting the vehicle.
Muscaro said he asked school administrators at St. Vincent-St. Mary on Friday for a chance to speak with James.
"But LeBron did not want to speak with me," Muscaro said, adding that James is the first athlete he has declared ineligible in his 14 years as commissioner.
"I think this sends a message that we are all about fairness," Muscaro said. "LeBron is being treated like any one of the thousands of student-athletes in Ohio."
Muscaro said his ruling addressed only the issue of James receiving the two jerseys.
"Naturally, LeBron is talented and he's noted nationally and internationally, but as far as this association is concerned, we will treat him the same as all our other athletes."
If this kid was recruited to play at my alma mater (fat chance --at least my college still has academic standards even for jocks), I would send my diploma back and ask for a refund.
His mother obviously knows that he will make millions of dollars. She probably got the loan knowing that he was going to make millions. She's no different than anyone else around him. She can't claim pure stupidity in this matter. She had to sign the papers as well.
There are 19-year-olds hunkered down in Kuwait TODAY who will be driving Hummers with twin .50 cals on the back in to war in a few weeks. THEY are the ones we should respect.
And people wonder why nobody watches the NBA?
Your vindictive jealously is unpalatable. I watched him closely last night @ the Cleveland Sports Commission 2003 Awards [well, when I wasn't watching Heather Kozar - Tim Couch's squeeze]. He's an 18 year inner-city kid being hounded by the world and I was impressed by the way he handled the scene. Of course, he won the award for "Outstanding High School Athlete" with a GPA of 3.5
Watched him play Oak Hill @ the Cleveland State Convocation Center in Dec. & he is the real deal on the basketball court. His ball handling skill are excellent, passing skills were great.
As for the predictions he will crash & burn - he might. But with guidance of Michael Jordan, Shaq, Maurice Clarett (another winner last night) in his cell phone speed dial he just as well may turn out O.K.
His mom is Ms. Iverson on steroids so she is a wild card. I'm hoping some shark attorney takes him under his wing and sets him straight. He could use Tiger's cell phone number, too.
Well it's in no way jealousy.
But based on what you've said, I'm willing to "give him a chance". If he chooses the right people to emulate he could be "Like Mike". If he turns out to be another "Randy Moss" like person, I hope my wish comes true.
AKRON, Ohio - LeBron James received permission Wednesday to resume playing high school ball, when a judge blocked a state ruling that had stripped him of his eligibility.
Summit County Judge James R. Williams said James could rejoin his team but must serve a two-game suspension. James, a senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary, has already missed one game after the Ohio High School Athletic Association declared him ineligible for accepting free sports jerseys valued at $845 from a store.
This is a joke...the mother is no way able to afford the Hummer, and that got past the OHSAA, but now they said he went to far.Would you loan her the money with no payments for a year in exchange for a bump in the interest. I would...in a heartbeat (If I had it...LOL).
He may pull one of those "If I don't play for L.A. Lakers or N.Y. Nets, I'm going to college" stunts to avoid being drafted to the Cleveland Cavaliers, I think.
I would say that the NBA was going to rig the draft lottery again in order to send him to a "name" team and not the Cavs, but my understanding is they have to pull the ping pong balls publically this year after a few teams threatened to sue last year. Right now he might end up drafted by the Cavaliers....which would bump their value and perhaps result in the team being sold. Certainly it would revitalize the NBA in northeast Ohio.
Keep her away from him. Kozar's a jinx. Ask Couch. Ask Cade McNown.
Heck, ask Bob Barker.