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Georgia State freshman ruled ineligible

Ron Hunter

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter directs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. Hunter will coach Saturday in his bare feet, drawing attention to his real passion, providing shoes to millions of poor children around the world. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)


Georgia State is fighting for a NCAA Tournament bid as a potential at-large team in a typically one-bid league, so the Panthers need all the help they can get this season. They won’t get any from freshman forward Jeff Thomas, as the Ohio native was ruled ineligible by the NCAA, according to a release from the school on Monday.

According to the release, Georgia State has gone through all appeals and considers the matter closed. The 6-foot-5 Thomas has yet to play in a game this season and won’t be able to help the team in 2014-15.

“We are obviously disappointed with the decision,” head coach Ron Hunter said in the release. “We will continue to support Jeff as he works toward his degree this year and look forward to him joining the team as a redshirt-freshman next year. We consider the matter closed and will continue to work on improving our team every day.”

As Hunter mentioned, Thomas does get to redshirt and will have four years of eligibility beginning next season. It certainly doesn’t help the Panthers this season, but Thomas staying an extra year gives them more insurance on the wing if R.J. Hunter opts to go pro after his junior year.

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