Reed Set To Return To SLU

ST. LOUIS — One day after Saint Louis University announced that Kwamain Mitchell had been readmitted, the school announced that Willie Reed had been "conditionally readmitted" and is eligible to enroll in classes.

The full statement from the school consisted of five paragraphs:

"Willie Reed has been conditionally readmitted to Saint Louis University and is eligible to enroll in classes for the spring 2011 semester. But, among other conditions for his readmission, Reed is suspended from the University's athletic program until further notice. The decision to readmit Reed follows a meeting with University administrators this week.

In considering readmission of a student to SLU, University administrators review the student's total educational record, including academic standing and matters related to student conduct in making their decision.

In Reed's case, that educational record includes academic performance issues and several previous incidents of misconduct.

As a result, in readmitting Reed to SLU, University officials instituted a series of conditions that Reed must meet in order to remain at SLU as a student. The conditions require Reed to prove that he can be a successful student – inside the classroom and out – at Saint Louis University.

The readmission process for any student is handled individually. Any conditions imposed by the University are designed to address a particular student's circumstances, and the University spends considerable time and reflection in each case before rendering a decision."

Reed and Mitchell left the school just a few days before the start of practice because they had been suspended, but the only official announcement from SLU came in the form of a brief statement:

"Saint Louis University men's basketball players Kwamain Mitchell and Willie Reed are currently not enrolled at the University. Federal law — the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) — does not allow the University to release any additional information without the consent of the students involved."

In the days that followed, Reed and his father, Willie Reed Sr., asked for and were granted the younger Reed's release from his athletic scholarship. That permitted other schools to recruit Reed and the athletic 6-foot-9 forward spent some time looking at other options before eventually deciding that he indeed wanted to return to Saint Louis.

"My heart is to be a Billiken," Reed said in an interview with in November. "That's what I want to be and I don't want to be anything else. If I can't go back I don't know what I will do. I really miss and love the Saint Louis campus and the community. I'll do whatever it takes to be back. I want to be back in that system and back with that family."

Mitchell and Reed were the top two scorers for the Billikens last season as sophomores as SLU went 23-13, finished fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference and advanced to the finals of the College Basketball Invitational Tournament with one of the youngest rosters in the nation.

Mitchell averaged 15.9 points per game, led the Billikens in 3-pointers (64), free throws made (93) and steals (50) and was second in assists (106). He was selected to the Atlantic 10 all-conference second team.

Reed averaged 12.4 points per game and led the team in rebounding (7.9) and blocked shots (73). He was an Atlantic 10 all-conference honorable mention selection.

It is still not known when Mitchell and Reed will return to the court.

Mitchell practiced with the Billikens on Thursday and is awaiting clearance from the NCAA. It is possible that the junior point guard could be back on the floor for Saint Louis University later this season.

The conditions set forth for Reed to remain a student at SLU will make it more difficult for him to get back on the court in a Billikens uniform, but they at least give him that opportunity — after first succeeding in the classroom.

If both Mitchell and Reed return for next season, Saint Louis could have one of the best teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Every current member of the basketball team will have at least one year of eligibility remaining and the Billikens will get a boost in sophomore shooting guard Jake Barnett, who is sitting out this season per NCAA rules after transferring from Toledo.

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