|Thursday, November 14
Updated: November 15, 12:53 PM ET
Edelin loses appeal, hampering Orangemen
ESPN.com news services
NEW YORK -- The NCAA ruled Thursday that Syracuse freshman point guard Billy Edelin must sit out the first 12 games of the season because he violated outside competition rules.
"I didn't know this was a rule (of outside competition during the school year for a non-student). It was my fault," Boeheim said. "If they want to suspend me then they should. I talked to 100 coaches and no one knew of this rule ... I didn't think he should miss any games. He played in rec league games against people 50 years old."
Edelin was penalized for participating in recreational basketball leagues while serving a university-imposed suspension last year. The NCAA prohibits student-athletes from participating in outside competition during the school year, and allows athletes to compete only in sanctioned summer events.
"It's unbelievable that he got a one game for one game suspension. It's unbelievable. I'm absolutely baffled," Boeheim said. "Every time I read something about the NCAA it's about helping student-athletes. But [Edelin] did not know about the rule. They said we should have told him, but we didn't."
Edelin lost his appeal with the NCAA and will be eligible to play against Pittsburgh on Jan. 18.
Edelin enrolled at Syracuse in the fall of 2001, but the university suspended him that October after two female students accused him of sexual misconduct. No charges were brought against Edelin, and he was reinstated by the university in June after performing 100 hours of community service during his year away from school.
"[Edelin] didn't know the rule and the competition on top of it. I've never seen anything like this in 30 years," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "The fairness and compassion to an 18-year-old kid is not there. I would have rather sat 10 games. It's really something. I'm in total disbelief."
Syracuse opened its season Thursday night with a 70-63 loss against Memphis in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Wednesday that neither the staff nor Edelin knew that he couldn't play in the games, especially since he wasn't a student.
Edelin will miss key Big East games at Seton Hall and Boston College while also missing non-conference games against Georgia Tech and Missouri. Boeheim said Edelin was the team's only penetrating point guard who could change the tempo of the game. The Orangemen will go with freshman Gerry McNamara in place of Edelin.
The most recent major NCAA individual suspensions for a key, starting player were Michigan's Jamal Crawford, suspended for 13 games in 1999-2000 and UCLA's JaRon Rush, suspended for 20 games in 1998-99.
The Associated Press and Andy Katz of ESPN.com contributed to this report.