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HS hoops star LeBron James ruled ineligible
Yahoo News ^ | 1-31-2003 | By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer

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."

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: lebronjames
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To: Lost Highway
When I first read this story I couldn't believe the idiots who said the Hummer wasn't a pay off. Now these same idiots are saying some clothes are.

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.

21 posted on 01/31/2003 3:12:42 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: Karsus; Johnny Gage
You're right Karsus, but maybe not about the Christian part.
Johnny, you may want to ping the AM and beg him or her to pull that post.
22 posted on 01/31/2003 3:39:08 PM PST by Mike K
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To: traditional1
50k for a HUMMER? You can get a "HUMMER" for $20 downtown!..(wink-wink)
23 posted on 01/31/2003 3:43:22 PM PST by jaz.357
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To: Republic of Texas; All
As someone who has played under the OHSAA rules during high school, HE BROKE THE RULES. You are NOT allowed to ACCEPT any monies or gifts. Most rules probably have the same ANAL RETENTIVE rules, but he broke the rules. I remember having to sign the paper for not only possible drug testing and an oath that I would not participate in drinking of alcohol or taking drugs. They wouldn't allow you to play if you didn't sign the paper along with your parents. Also, it is absolutely ridiculous that his mother didn't read the papers when she signed them. We had numerous team meetings about OHSAA rules. Also, it only got worse when I went to college. THE NCAA rules are even more forcifully enforced and no coach wants to be on the wrong side of the NCAA.

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.

24 posted on 01/31/2003 3:46:41 PM PST by MoJo2001 (FRIDAY!! WOOHOOO!!)
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To: Lost Highway
Jim Rome had a caller on the radio today who said this:

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.

25 posted on 01/31/2003 3:54:48 PM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Lost Highway
This was inevitable in this 'espn-highlight film' culture that pervades amateur (and professional) athletics. The kid is still in high school and he's on national television (while Vitale and others drool and gush), driving a hummer and chiding the Cavaliers for firing their coach.
26 posted on 01/31/2003 3:55:23 PM PST by GSWarrior
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To: Petronski

And people wonder why nobody watches the NBA?

27 posted on 01/31/2003 3:57:10 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Howlin
I have to agree here.

Myself, I am a long time Utah Jazz fan. I enjoy watching a team that a) plays it's games in Salt Lake City, a pariah of the NBA, b) has two players--John Stockon and Karl Malone--that, despite what many fans think of them, are two great players that never smoked pot or gangbanged or beat their wives, and c) still remains a competitive team (much to my surprise).

So maybe I'm a Jazz fan more than an NBA fan, but so be it.
28 posted on 01/31/2003 4:06:41 PM PST by GOP_Raider (OAKLAND RAIDERS AFC CHAMPIONS!!!!)
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To: Johnny Gage
soorry, but I hope he blows out his ACL the first week of play.

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.

29 posted on 01/31/2003 4:14:26 PM PST by Captiva (IN TRESSEL WE TRUST)
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To: Captiva
Your vindictive jealously is unpalatable. I watched him closely last night

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.

30 posted on 01/31/2003 8:04:34 PM PST by Johnny Gage (God Bless our Military, God Bless President George W. Bush and God Bless America!)
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To: Lost Highway
LeBron James Ruled Eligible to Play
Associated Press

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.

31 posted on 02/05/2003 9:56:01 AM PST by Deadeye Division
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To: traditional1
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.

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.

Would you loan her the money with no payments for a year in exchange for a bump in the interest. I a heartbeat (If I had it...LOL).

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.


32 posted on 02/05/2003 11:36:18 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Captiva
I watched him closely last night @ the Cleveland Sports Commission 2003 Awards [well, when I wasn't watching Heather Kozar - Tim Couch's squeeze].

Keep her away from him. Kozar's a jinx. Ask Couch. Ask Cade McNown.

Heck, ask Bob Barker.

33 posted on 02/05/2003 1:25:43 PM PST by L.N. Smithee (We got no class,we got no principals,we got no innocence,we can't even think of a word that rhymes!)
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