Jesse Morgan’s basketball career at UMass appears over
Jesse Morgan of the University of Massachusetts, right, Purchase photo reprints »
Jesse Morgan of the University of Massachusetts, center Purchase photo reprints »
AMHERST — Junior guard Jesse Morgan’s career on the University of Massachusetts basketball team appears to be over.
According to multiple sources close to the program, Morgan has been forced to withdraw from the university for disciplinary reasons and has returned to Philadelphia. He is attempting to appeal the decision. The sources said the action stems from the same undisclosed incident that caused Morgan to be suspended for the team’s Nov. 3 exhibition game.
Morgan returned for the season opener against Harvard and appeared in 14 games during the 2012-13 season before tearing knee ligaments in the Minutemen’s Atlantic 10 opener at Saint Louis. Before the injury he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.4 points per game.
Morgan has only one year of eligibility remaining and he sat out a year as an academic nonqualifier as a freshman. Thus he would need a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible as a transfer to another Division I school.
Morgan could not be reached for comment. Citing privacy laws, UMass coach Derek Kellogg declined to speak about Morgan’s status.
Morgan was not at the team’s postseason banquet Wednesday night and was not mentioned during remarks at the event.
HINDS TO VISIT, BLACK INTERESTED? — Jabarie Hinds, a sophomore combo guard who is transferring from West Virginia, is expected to visit UMass this week. Hinds is a 5-foot-11 left-hander from Mount Vernon, N.Y., the same town that produced former Minuteman Chris Lowe.
Hinds started 26 of 32 games for the Mountaineers, averaging 7.4 points and 1.6 assists per game.
Memphis junior big man Tarik Black, who will graduate this year, plans to take advantage of the NCAA rule which allows a player who has completed his degree requirements to transfer without sitting out a year. According to CBS Sports, Black is considering Duke, Kansas, Marquette, Miami, Tennessee, Florida State and UMass. Black, who is 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, knows Kellogg from the coach’s time as an assistant as Memphis.
Black, who is from Memphis, averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game as a junior.
FARRELL UNCERTAIN — UMass junior Javorn Farrell, who is also eligible to transfer without sitting out because he already has earned his degree, has not decided whether or not to return, according to Kellogg.
“He’s still deciding,” Kellogg said.
CHARLESTON OFFICIAL, BOSTON COLLEGE POSSIBLE — The Minutemen could keep their rivalry with Temple alive for another year and might resume their rivalry with Boston College during the 2013-14 season.
ESPN, which owns the Charleston Classic, announced Wednesday that the Minutemen have been added to the eight-team event in South Carolina from Nov. 21 to 24.
The field also includes Clemson, Davidson, Georgia, New Mexico, Nebraska, Temple and UAB. UMass would be guaranteed three games. Temple left the Atlantic 10 and will join the America Athletic Conference in 2013-14.
NCAA rules on exempt events allow teams to play four games. The Minutemen are exploring playing one of the other seven teams, likely at the Mullins Center, in a game that would count as part of the event, but would not be included in the tournament’s bracket.
The momentum for a tripleheader of Massachusetts basketball teams at the TD Garden appeared to have fizzled last month, but looks to be back on again with different matchups. If it happens, UMass is expected to play Boston College.
VINSON IN TEXAS — UMass senior forward Terrell Vinson was not at the banquet. He is in Dallas working out to prepare for his professional career.
Matt Vautour can be reached at email@example.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at @GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.