|Print this story||Permalink|
But instead the 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward's collegiate career will start with a three-game suspension by the NCAA for receiving tuition assistance for prep school.
McMillan missed both of Fordham's games in the CoSIDA Classic and will miss the Rams' home opener against Iona Saturday. The NCAA ruled that a portion of McMillan's tuition at St. Thomas More Prep School in Oakdale, Conn. was paid for by Student-Athletes, Inc., a summer basketball program.
Doc Nicelli, the president of Student-Athletes, Inc. confirmed his organization helped pay for McMillan's tuition.
"We tried to help Jeff and we did help Jeff and we felt we did nothing wrong in accordance with our mission statement, which says we are to provide programs for inner city kids and financial assistance for individuals with economic needs," Nicelli said. "The primary reason was because Jeff McMillan was a ward of the state and had no viable means to get financial assistance anywhere else."
Fordham voluntarily submitted McMillan's financial aid information to the NCAA and when the school learned of the ruling, Fordham immediately appealed, on the basis that McMillan was raised in group homes in Bayside and Staten Island.
"Because of Jeff's special circumstances as a ward of the state, we believed we had a very strong reason for appeal," said Fordham Executive Director of Athletics Frank McLaughlin. "We are extremely disappointed that the appeal was denied but we will abide by the NCAA's decision."
McMillan, who also played for Bayside and Curtis, averaged 17 points and 13 rebounds per game in his second year at St. Thomas More to lead the school to the New England Prep School championship. He was projected to start for the Rams and was named to the Atlantic-10 preseason All-Rookie Team.
"It's an unfortunate situation," said Fordham head coach Bob Hill. "Jeff was unaware of the regulation at the time he received the financial aid, and really had no other recourse because of his family situation. It was extremely important that he receive financial aid to continue his education."
McMillan's suspension is similar to the one levied upon former St. John's University point guard Erick Barkley last year, when the sophomore was suspended for one game by the NCAA for receiving tuition assistance at Maine Central Institute from the Riverside Church AAU program.
©2000 Community Newspaper Group
|Print this story||Permalink|
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.