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Sam Cassell expresses his displeasure with the NCAA for ruling his son ineligible

Randy Wittman, Sam Cassell

Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman, left, and assistant coach Sam Cassell watch as the Phoenix Suns take a commanding lead in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Phoenix. The Suns won 104-88. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)


The news broke earlier this week that Notre Dame Prep products Myles Davis (Xavier) and Sam Cassell Jr. (Maryland) were ruled ineligible by the NCAA due to issues with their coursework.

Davis apparently will remain at Xavier despite not being able to receive a scholarship or practice with the team, while it remains to be seen what Cassell does.

On Friday Cassell’s father, former NBA player and current assistant coach with the Washington Wizards Sam Cassell Sr., offered his opinion in an interview with Jeff Goodman of

Cassell, who won three NBA titles and is now an assistant with the Washington Wizards, called the NCAA the “neighborhood bullies” and said it’s not even worth pursuing the situation legally.

“They do whatever they want,” Sam Cassell said. “It doesn’t even do any good to fight it.”

“The NCAA just wants kids to fail,” he added. “It’s not these kids’ fault. The NCAA can’t penalize Notre Dame Prep, so they are squashing the kids dreams.”

The issue that Cassell and many others have with the NCAA’s decision boils down to one word: consistency.

According to Goodman a total of ten players took courses at Notre Dame Prep that the NCAA eventually held against Cassell Jr. and Davis, with the other eight players being cleared.

Is every case the same? Of course not, but it isn’t unfair for fans or parents to ask for consistency from the governing body when it comes to these judgements.

And the fact that things can change from year to year can put a prospective student-athlete in a bad situation when it comes to their transcripts due to the recent rule change that you can only have one “core course” count from a fifth year in prep school.

Here’s the situation: Davis and Cassell both had classes they took in the 2011-12 school year invalidated by the NCAA largely because the NCAA put the Fitchburg, Mass., school on the “Watch List.” By the time Davis was notified by the NCAA that the school was under review, which Davis’ father told was last winter, it was too late to take any other classes to replace the ones invalidated by the NCAA because Davis was already in his fifth year.

“I can’t figure it all out,” said Sam Davis, Myles’ father. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

“When the classes were taken,” he added. “Notre Dame Prep wasn’t on any list. It’s just not fair.”

It’s one thing to enforce a rule and say that the players won’t be able to play in games. But why not allow them to at least be on scholarship and practice as Ricardo Ledo has been allowed to do at Providence?

Would that really hurt anyone or make a mockery of the system? Apparently so, and that’s unfortunate.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.