Shawnson Johnson ineligible for 2001-02 season

The frontcourt of the LSU basketball team will be without a player the Tigers were counting on to provide a rebounding and scoring presence close to the goal. Head coach John Brady releases a statement Friday morning indicating Shawnson John, a transfer from Lee Colllege, was not academically eligible to enroll at LSU for the fall semester.

Johnson will be able to enroll at LSU for the spring semester if he meets academic requirements this fall, but he cannot play for the Tigers this season since the NCAA doesn't allow midterm graduates to play in the same season.

Brady's statement details Johnson's situation:

"Shawnson Johnson will not be eligible to play at LSU this season even though he has completed all the requirements for graduation from Lee College. For a student to be a summer graduate from Lee, all course work must have been completed and turned in by August 15. Shawnson missed that deadline and therefore, the school could only issue his degree for a December 14 graduation date, even though all the required criteria had been met. We are disappointed his work was not completed at the appropriate time, but respect and understand the Lee College policy.

Brady continues, "Shawnson will enroll at LSU in the spring once his degree from Lee is rendered on Dec. 14. The NCAA does not allow mid-term graduates to play in the same season. With that being the case, our plan is for Shawnson to be at LSU in the second semester, practice with our team, but not play in games. He will then play the following two seasons with this year counting as a redshirt. Without his presence around the goal this year, it will take away some much needed depth, but we will still have 6-8 Brad Bridgewater, 6-8 Thomas Davis and 6-7 Jason Wilson to help absorb the loss of Shawnson. We are excited about the players we have and without question our team will be a much improved one from last year."

Johnson is from Shreveport, La., and prepped at Green Oaks High School prior to attending Lee College in Baytown, Texas.

The Tigers begin the 2001-02 season November 5 with an exhibition game against Global Sports.

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