Key reserves Che Bob, Kimani Jackson and Devocio Butler will be academically ineligible when the spring semester starts Jan. 17, Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy announced in a press release Tuesday night. All three players failed to meet the minimum grade-point average standards for the fall semester, thus making them ineligible for the entire spring semester.
The trio of players, which averages nearly 55 combined minutes per game, will be eligible for the team's next three games against San Jose State, Air Force and New Mexico, but will not be allowed to play in the team's final 13 Mountain West games, as well as the Mountain West tournament in March.
Bob and Butler, both juniors, are in their first season with the Rams after transferring from Texas junior colleges this past year. Jackson, also a junior, played sparingly last season but has seen his role increase this season with the Rams' lack of front court depth. All three have been key contributors off the bench, with Bob often serving the first player off the bench for Eustachy. The 6-foot-6 junior from Charlotte has averaged more than 19 minutes per game while scoring 9.1 points per contest and leading the Rams in 3-point shooting at 39 percent.
Butler, a 6-foot-5 guard who came to CSU from Hill Junior College in Hillsboro, Texas, has been the Rams' second-best free throw shooter this year, while averaging 6.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in nearly 20 minutes per game.
Jackson, a 6-foot-8 power forward, did not play against UNLV on Dec. 28, but did score nine points and pull down five rebounds in CSU' 74-73 loss to Boise State on Dec. 31. Though he's seen somewhat limited action, averaging just over 13 minutes per game, Jackson does provide depth for a team that has just three other post players.
“We will continue to support these young men in their academic careers,” head coach Larry Eustachy said in the release. “Our top priority is to educate, and we will continue to emphasize this in all that we do. It is a hard lesson, but we will continue to support these young men and provide access to the resources needed to excel in the classroom and graduate. This is disappointing for our entire program, especially the players still competing on the court. All of us will remain focused on our ‘Team Together’ philosophy that is key to our success. We look forward all three getting on track in their academic pursuits towards graduation and joining us on the court next season.”
CSU is now down to just seven players; Gian Clavell, Emmanuel Omogbo, Braden Koelliker, Nico Carvacho, Prentiss Nixon, Anthony Bonner and Jeremiah Paige, with only Omogbo, Koelliker and Carvacho standing taller than 6-foot-4. The suspensions also leave CSU with only one true wing player in Clavell, forcing he and others to take on additional minutes once the suspensions begin.
The Rams currently have four Division I transfers sitting out this season due to NCAA rules.
This is the second time this season that CSU players will face suspensions, with Clavell sitting out the team's first 10 regular season games after a domestic dispute with his ex-girlfriend led to his arrest Nov. 9.
CSU (9-6, 1-1 Mountain West) will travel to face the Spartans Wednesday night in San Jose before returning to Moby Arena for a two-game homestand against Air Force and New Mexico.
InsideTheRams Digital Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.