Altman said he did not know about all of Taylor's brushes with the law, notably his Oct. 13 arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession. (Taylor was released after posting bail; the trial is set for June 10.) But Airman did know about many of them, and he defends his decision not to dismiss the player during the season or even suspend him. "I feel comfortable with the way we handled Terrell's situation based on the information we had," Airman says.
Athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said Taylor first failed a school-administered drug test last October. According to the World-Herald, on Nov. 18 he was arrested for failing to appear in court on a charge of driving without a license. On Jan. 4 he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after his blood-alcohol level was .13, above the legal limit of .08. (Taylor pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving and was fined $250.) Taylor did lose his starting spot going into last season, but he was still the team's second-leading scorer (12.6-point average).
Since announcing his decision to leave, Taylor has entered his name in the NBA draft. Conceding that he has little chance of being drafted, he says he will likely try to get into the NBA as a free agent or pursue a professional career overseas. "I realize I created a lot of problems at Creighton, but I believe I'm ready to play at the next level," he says.
NBA Predraft Camps
Players to Pay for NCAA Oversight
In recent years the NCAA has, to its credit, relaxed its rules to enable underclassmen to test the NBA draft waters and return to school with their eligibility intact This makes it all the more baffling that the association is now saying that players who go back to college after participating in the NBA's predraft showcase, which will take place in Chicago on June 4-7, will have to sit out one game at the start of the season for each game they play there, typically three or four games.
Even though players had gone to the NBA camp for about the last decade and returned without penalty, the NCAA ruled this year that the showcase violated the prohibition against "outside competition." While the event clearly meets that definition—score is kept, rosters are predetermined, uniforms are used, etc.—an exception could have been made for it, just as there have been for USA Basketball events, sanctioned summer leagues and overseas excursions by college teams.
Most distressing, the basketball issues committee, which was formed three years ago to be a rules watchdog, gave its putative support to the NCAA's stand during a Feb. 25 conference call. When asked to comment, the committee's chair, Syracuse chancellor Kenneth Shaw, first said he was "not well-versed" enough on the issue to comment, then gave a tepid endorsement of the new policy, saying it was "an arguable point."
The showcases could be added to the list of exceptions for 2003, but that will be too late to help underclassmen who want to see where they stand in this year's draft.
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