Work in Sports
NCAA won't restore Porter's eligbility
Posted: Wednesday March 08, 2000 09:40 PM
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- The NCAA on Wednesday refused to restore the eligibility of Auburn star Chris Porter, who said he took $2,500 to help his mother financially not knowing it was being routed from an agent.
The university was preparing an appeal Wednesday in hopes that the senior forward can return to the team for the postseason, said athletic director David Housel.
"We expect the process to be completed by the end of the week," Housel said. "We still remain hopeful."
The next step is to appeal to a reinstatement subcommittee made up of officials from other NCAA institutions.
"I don't know how quickly they can get it turned around," said Mark Richard, Auburn's director of compliance. "Going into this, we knew we were up against a tough situation."
Porter, a preseason AP All-American, was one of 22 finalists Tuesday for the John R. Wooden Award given to the nation's top player. He was averaging 14.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals.
Auburn (21-8) is 0-3 during Porter's suspension and plays Friday in the Southeastern Conference tournament. The Tigers expect to be invited to the NCAA tournament, and Porter still hopes to join them.
"I am obviously disappointed with the ruling," he said in a written statement. "I am hoping that cooperating [with the investigation] will allow me to play again."
Porter was suspended before the Tigers' Feb. 27 game at Florida after he admitted taking $2,500. He said it was to keep his mother from being evicted.
According to news reports, Porter got the $2,500 after a meeting with Nate Cebrun of Las Vegas, a middleman for sports agents, and an investigation has determined Cebrun was working for a registered sports agent when he had the money sent to Porter through a money order to an Auburn grocery store.
The name of the sports agent has not been disclosed.
Auburn filed a report Monday with the NCAA recommending a four-game penalty, which would run through the first game of the SEC tournament.
If the NCAA had reinstated Porter, he would have been eligible as soon as he repaid the $2,500. Richard said he could not comment Wednesday on whether the money had been paid back.
He said the NCAA's reinstatement committee makes its decision based on past precedent.
NCAA officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.