Jesse Morgan has one year to play college basketball in his hometown.
Or maybe less.
Morgan, who transferred from Massachusetts last summer, has been waiting to clarify his eligibility with the NCAA for almost two years after being expelled from UMass in spring 2013. The senior guard was declared ineligible to play last year, but transferred to Temple and earned his degree, giving him another chance to extend his career.
Morgan will play for the Owls this season, but whether he receives a whole season or just one semester is yet to be determined. Technically his five-year clock to play expires in December because he played only the second semester his freshman year after sitting out a season, but it would be unusual for a player to only be allowed to play the first semester.
"I think it's still a little bit up in the air," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy." We've gotten a little relief and we're asking for a little bit more and hopefully in a week to 10 days we'll know that."
Morgan, an Olney High School graduate, averaged 13.4 points for the Minutemen two years ago before tearing his ACL in January. He was then dismissed from the team and transferred to Temple in the summer, and the waiting game to determine when he would be allowed to play began.
"It's been a process, just taking my time and trying to control what I can control, and just be a better teammate, push the other guys," said Morgan."The guys and coach heve helped me stay even-keel as much as I can through this process and continue to push me. Honestly, I'm just trying to be ready for any situation and just waiting to hear and working with coach every day.
"Me personally, I believe I (deserve the whole year), but it's not up to me."
Morgan admitted its been a whirlwind over the last few years, but when the situation deteriorated at UMass he knew what his next step would be.
"Adversity builds character, at times makes you a stronger person," said Morgan. "I just try to be a role model for the younger players. I've been working on being a better leader.
"I had dreams about coming back home and being able to play, I'm just glad it worked out this way. I grew up on 19th and Montgomery. I know Temple basketball. There's a lot of history here, and I wanted to follow that trend, come back and help out. I'm just going to do what I can do to help the team get better."
Jesse Morgan still playing waiting game
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