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NCAA denies Donte Hill’s eligibility waiver request

UNC Wilmington Old Dominion Basketball

Old Dominion’s Donte Hill (25) shoots under pressure from UNC Wilmington’s Keith Rendleman, left, and Cedrick Williams, right, during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in Norfolk, Va. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Amanda Lucier) MAGS OUT


Old Dominion guard Donte Hill looked to be well-positioned to be a key factor for first-year head coach Jeff Jones in 2013-14. Hill averaged 8.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for the Monarchs last season, and with leading scorer DeShawn Painter out of eligibility more would have been required of Hill in ODU’s debut season in Conference USA.

In order to play next season, Hill needed to have his request for an eligibility waiver granted by the NCAA. Hill began his career at Clemson, playing an average of 5.3 minutes per game in the 2009-10 season. But before making the decision to transfer, Hill played eight minutes in a closed scrimmage in 2010.

Those eight minutes proved to be costly apparently, as the school announced that the NCAA denied Hill’s waiver request. That means Hill’s collegiate career has come to an end.

“The circumstances of the case did not warrant relief from the legislation,” Jone said in a statement released by the school. “Obviously, this news is disappointing to our staff and team and of course to Donte.

“He had a short, but successful career at ODU and more importantly will earn a degree in sociology in August. We know he has a bright future ahead of him. “

It’s understandable that there are rules that need to be followed. But eight minutes in a closed scrimmage ultimately cost a player a full year of eligibility? That seems harsh, and who’s to say that Hill knew this was a possibility when playing in that closed scrimmage?

Given the many issues within collegiate athletics these days, one would think that there are bigger fish to fry than the eligibility of Donte Hill. Apparently, that isn’t the case.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.