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Boeke’s case not isolated

Posted by Jeff Nusser on November 15, 2007

You might remember that the Cougs signed a 6-foot-11 prospect from Germany last year named Fabian Boeke. He’s a lanky, smooth big man who it was thought might contribute this year thanks to his versatility and relative lack of depth in the frontcourt.

He has yet to see the floor this year, and it’s not because of a redshirt. Thank you, NCAA.

Many a European has run afoul of NCAA eligibility standards by playing with quasi-professional teams the NCAA has deemed taboo. The difference here is that Boeke actually was trying to do the right thing, turning down professional offers for the chance to play college ball in the U.S. The academy pays a pair of Americans $1,100 a month to play for them against other professional teams, but Boeke and the other Germans on the team receive no monetary compensation for their basketball play.

Yet, the NCAA stands firm. And Boeke’s not the only one, according to’s college basketball writer Jeff Goodman, who has taken up the cause in this piece.

“It’s the lowest level of pro ball that there is,” Washington State coach Tony Bennett told Goodman. “The Americans barely make their expenses. … It’s frustrating because these kids went there with the understanding that this would allow them to play here and also get an education”

For now, all the Cougs can do is sit and wait as the NCAA considers their appeal. My guess? He’ll be forced to sit out the year. But maybe that’s just my pessimism, even though the NCAA always seems to do the wrong thing.


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