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Virginia Tech’s Malik Mueller ruled ineligible this season

James Johnson

Virginia Tech head coach James Johnson reacts to a call during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)


Virginia Tech was already staring at the cellar of the loaded ACC this season, and James Johnson’s road to relevance got that much tougher on Monday evening.

The school announced that 6-foot-3 freshman Malik Mueller would be ineligible to play this season due to an issue with his academics.

“I am extremely disappointed for Malik, “ Johnson said in a statement. “This young man has worked very hard this summer both in workouts and in the classroom. I know that Malik will use this year to improve as a better basketball player and will continue his strong work in his academics. He will help this team in practice and from the sidelines.”

Mueller is a native of Germany and was expected to compete for playing time at the point guard spot.

Johnson signed six players in the Class of 2013, but Mueller is the second that will not be playing for the Hokies this season. Donte Clark, a borderline top 100 prospect, was not admitted to Tech for academic reasons. He eventually enrolled at UMass, where he was ruled a partial qualifier and will have to redshirt this season.

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