Bryce Brown (above) is one of Auburn's top outside shooters.
Auburn, Ala.--Freshman guard Bryce Brown will be held out for Auburn's basketball opener vs. UAB on Friday night because he is ineligible due to playing in a summer league game in Atlanta, which was an unintentional violation of NCAA rules.
Brown will be available for Auburn’s second game of the season, a 2 p.m. Tuesday home contest vs. Colorado.
The Tigers will take on UAB on Friday night down at least two guards and possibly three. Tahj Shamsid-Deen will not be available as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury. Pearl said there is good news on the junior’s recovery, which he noted is ahead of schedule. Shamsid-Deen is now participating in non-contact practices.
Pearl also said on Thursday that another freshman guard, New Williams, is "doubtful"for Friday's game due to a knee problem. If Williams doesn't play that will likely mean an expanded role for freshman Zach Allison, an invited walk-on who played in both of Auburn's exhibition games. Another freshman guard, Danjel Purifoy, has not been academically cleared to play this season. Pearl said on Thursday that he is still waiting for a final decision on the four-star recruit's status for the 2015-16 season. Purifoy is taking classes at AU and is practicing with AU's scout team.
Explaining the situation with Brown, Pearl said the two-guard filled in for a team in during a summer league game for a team that was short on players and didn’t realize that he was not supposed to do that.
“I saw Bryce had tweeted something about his participation in a game in Atlanta,” Pearl said. “I knew that he had played a game in the Birmingham summer league so I called him and he explained what had happened.
“He actually went to watch the game and they didn’t have enough guys,” Pearl said. “They were short and his coach was coaching the team--his high school coach, his high school JV coach, I think--and said, ‘Do you want to play?’
“Bryce, being a freshman and probably not having been through it before, he was told that you can only play in one NCAA-approved summer league, but I’m sure didn’t think he was doing anything wrong,” Pearl said.
“Obviously, you wouldn’t tweet about it afterward if you did think you were doing something wrong so we sent it to the NCAA and asked for their ruling. It’s a pretty standard one-for-one. I think it’s severe. I think it’s harsh. He only played in two summer league games total, but the rule is you can only play in one NCAA-approved summer league and so as a result he’s got to sit out this particular game.”