Based on new information submitted by the University of Kentucky on Tuesday, December 13, the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement staff has revisited the Randolph Morris reinstatement decision to determine if additional relief is appropriate. This was a reconsideration by the staff rather than an appeal to the Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee.
The new information, which was not included in the university's original request for reinstatement and some of which is personal and confidential, provides additional understanding of Morris' original intent to enter the NBA draft as well as his mindset during that process and his failure to avail himself of university resources in the process.
In particular, the University of Kentucky produced a facsimile that Morris sent to head coach Tubby Smith on May 9, 2005, that indicated Morris' clear intent to retain his collegiate eligibility while declaring for the NBA draft.
Based on the seriousness of multiple rules violations involving dealings with an agent and accepting expenses to tryout for NBA teams, the reinstatement staff determined that a significant withholding condition was still warranted, even after the new information was presented this week. However, based on the new information, the staff has reinstated Morris' eligibility with the condition that he be withheld from 50 percent of the season (14 games) and required to repay the impermissible expenses received.
Morris received more than $7,000 from nine NBA teams for expenses related to tryouts. NCAA legislation permits summer tryouts, but student-athletes may not receive expenses or other payment from NBA teams.
Morris was originally withheld from competition for the 2005-06 season and required to repay all impermissible expenses. He may continue to practice and scrimmage with the team until his withholding condition ends on January 10, 2006. Following this season, Morris will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2006-07 season.
The reinstatement staff did not declare Morris permanently ineligible because there was no explicit written or oral agreement with an agent. However, with the Morris family's knowledge, the agency marketed the student-athlete's skills to NBA teams and served as the teams' point of contact for Morris. The agency scheduled, arranged and confirmed workouts with NBA teams and sought feedback from teams on the student-athlete's draft status.
The NCAA will not provide any further comment on this matter. Any additional questions should be directed to the University of Kentucky.
The University of Kentucky Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, Sandy Bell, released a statement that indicated UK would accept the decision and provide no further appeals:
"The University of Kentucky is very appreciative of the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Staff's willingness to reconsider Randolph's case based on additional information. We are also pleased with the timely manner in which the reconsideration was made. The University of Kentucky considers this decision to be fair based upon the facts of the case. Therefore, we will not be appealing this decision to the Student-Athlete Reinstatement Subcommittee."