Guy Marc-Michel, Indiana's 7-foot center from Martinique, has been declared ineligible by the NCAA. Michel most recently played in the United States for North Idaho College, which is a junior college.
Michel was supposed to buoy the suddenly resurgent Hoosiers (6-0), but school officials announced Tuesday that Michel would not be eligible after playing five games with a professional team and enrolling in a French college in 2006. NCAA rules state that student-athletes are eligible to play four years of a sport over a five-year span. Since Michel first enrolled in college in 2006 and would likely have been forced to sit out a year in penalty, his five year clock would have expired regardless of his eligibility in the matter of his amateur status.
"We are disappointed by this decision because everyone involved in this process agrees that Guy did not intentionally do anything that would have jeopardized his ability to play here or at any of the number of institutions that also recruited him," Indiana coach Tom Crean said in a statement released by the school. "We will regroup, assess all our options and do whatever we can for Guy, who has demonstrated to us that he deserves to be part of the IU program."
Though the situation mirrors that of Kentucky center Enes Kanter in that both players' amateur status is in question and they are both of foreign descent, the decision does not necessarily reflect how the NCAA will rule on Kentucky's appeal of Kanter's eligibility. Kanter's appeal is expected to be heard by week's end. In Kanter's case, the question remains rooted in whether or not he accepted money from a Turkish professional team that went beyond what is deemed "necessary" by the NCAA.
Kanter received in excess of $30,000 from Fenerbahce, a Turkish club team, and was initially ruled ineligible Nov. 11.