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NCAA denies former UMass guard Jesse Morgan’s appeal to be eligible at Temple

Jesse Morgan, shown here playing for the University of Massachusetts during the 2012-13 season, had his appeal to be eligible to play at Temple in 2013-14 denied Tuesday by the NCAA.

Jesse Morgan, shown here playing for the University of Massachusetts during the 2012-13 season, had his appeal to be eligible to play at Temple in 2013-14 denied Tuesday by the NCAA. Purchase photo reprints »

Former University of Massachusetts guard Jesse Morgan’s appeal to be eligible at Temple for the 2013-14 season was denied by the NCAA, which likely ends his college basketball career.

Morgan met with NCAA officials Monday. Multiple sources confirmed the result.

Morgan, who was UMass’ No. 2 scorer last year, tore knee ligaments in the Minutemen’s Atlantic 10 opener, ending his season. Morgan was dismissed from school by the administration before the start of the spring semester for undisclosed campus rules violations.

His departure was kept hidden as he appealed to UMass in hopes of returning. Because he couldn’t play or practice anyway due to the injury, his absence at practices and games wasn’t conspicuous.

Morgan was ineligible to transfer for two reasons. First, the 2013-14 season would have been his fifth and final season eligible in college. The NCAA requires transferring athletes to sit out a season. If Morgan sat out, he’d be out of eligibility. Second, NCAA rules mandate that a student athlete must continually be making progress toward their degree in each semester. He didn’t make progress during the spring because UMass denied him the ability to take classes on campus or online.

He was appealing to the NCAA to grant him a waiver to overrule both rules.

Morgan could opt to transfer to an NAIA school, which wouldn’t be subject to NCAA transfer rules. Depending on the health of his knee, he could also hire an agent and attempt to play overseas.

Morgan, a 6-foot-5 guard from Philadelphia, averaged 13.4 points per game last year as a junior and 9.9 points per game as a sophomore.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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