IU's Ratliff ineligible due to grades

From Staff Reports Indiana Daily Student

August 25, 2007

Bloomington, IN (CSTV U-WIRE) -- Indiana men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson confirmed Saturday at a press conference that senior guard and prolific three-point shooter A.J. Ratliff will miss the first part of the 2007-2008 season. Ratliff is ineligible for academic reasons, and may regain his eligibility if his grades allow after the first semester is completed.

Rumors had been circulating across the Internet in the last few days suggesting Ratliff might be ineligible, but Saturday was the first time such speculation was confirmed.

Ratliff becomes the seventh player the team has lost since last season, either to graduation, academics or transfer. The team also lost seniors Earl Calloway, Errek Suhr and Rod Wilmont, and saw Joey Shaw, Xavier Keeling and Ben Allen transfer.

Ratliff can still play in exhibition games, because they are not NCAA sanctioned. Sitting out through the first semester, he will miss the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against Georgia Tech, a contest against Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Ill., and the Hoosiers' annual rivalry showdown against Kentucky. Two years ago, Ratliff helped lead the Hoosiers to victory over the Wildcats with 21 second-half points.

Without Ratliff, IU may have to rely more on freshman guards Jordan Crawford and Eric Gordon, as well as junior college transfer Jamarcus Ellis, for their outside scoring.

Ratliff averaged 9.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game last season, and shot 40.7 percent from behind the three-point line. Ratliff played in 30 games last season, starting 12. Ratliff led all scorers with 20 points off the bench, including 18 in the second half during the Hoosiers' 71-66 victory over then No. 2-ranked Wisconsin on Jan. 31 at Assembly Hall.

Ratliff has averaged 6.3 points per game over his three years at IU, shooting 39.2 percent from beyond the arc.


(C) 2007 Indiana Daily Student via CSTV U-WIRE