Stone reinstated, will play at DePaul
After two weeks of NCAA questions regarding his status as an amateur, University of Louisville senior center Marvin Stone has been reinstated by the NCAA membership services committee and will play tomorrow night at DePaul.
"We received correspondence from the NCAA which confirmed that based on all the available information, there was a pre-existing relationship between the Stone family and Mark Komara and no violation has occurred," Jurich told the Associated Press shortly after arriving in Chicago tonight. "The university continues to look at all sides of this, but based upon all information to date, there is no violation of amateurism rules and Marvin is cleared to play."
Apparently, the investigation centered around Stone's relationship with Mark Komara, the Director of the Southeast Raptors (formerly the Alabama Lasers) AAU program in Huntsville, AL. The NCAA questioned whether Stone had received improper benefits from Komara in two instances while the 6'10 center played for the University of Kentucky.
Specifically, the NCAA questioned Stone's use of Komara's Suburban vehicle while at the University of Kentucky. Reportedly while visiting family in Huntsville, Stone's 1992 Explorer broke down and Komara loaned his vehicle to Stone in order to return to Lexington.
The NCAA also questioned Stone's mother about her role as a chaperoen on one of Komara's AAU teams trip to Las Vegas in which her expenses were paid by Komara.
However, Komara, who has known the Stone family since the early 1980's and played softball against Stone's now deceased father, was deemed by the NCAA to have had a preexisting relationship with the family and thus no amateurism rules were violated by Komara's assistance to Stone or his mother.
And rest assured, University of Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino is glad the ordeal is behind his #15 Louisville Cardinals (20-5, 10-4).
"We're delighted to have Marvin back on this team, now I can continue to work on my 37th different offensive set in the last 48 hours," Pitino said.
And while Stone has been reinstated and will be back on the court against DePaul, Stone's attorney Don Jackson may still have work left to do in this case.
"There may be other issues that we have to deal with in the coming weeks, but none that would prevent Marvin from playing," Jackson said Tuesday night.
However, questions regarding the timing of the NCAA's investigations still remain unanswered.
"Why it didn't happen four years ago is the question they have to answer," Pitino said. "They're going to say new information. I don't believe that."
And you can be sure Pitino is not alone in this community with that
Rick Pitino: "Ten years from now, Mark Komara will be very close to Marvin Stone, regardless of whether he's playing a day in the NBA. In the case of Marvin Stone and Mark Komara, he has a genuine relationship that is very sincere. They'll be friends for a long time after this."
Stone's attorney Donald Jackson: "Based on what I've been told, he will be on the floor. It's as 100 percent as these things can be. We're thrilled."