Friday, March 03, 2000

UC won't take Harper even after charges dismissed

The Associated Press

        University of Cincinnati athletic officials say they will not make another scholarship offer after a judge dismissed a simple assault charge against former recruit Jerome Harper.

        A Columbia Municipal Court judge dismissed the charge Thursday at the request of Harper's accuser, Saboor Rasheed. Rasheed went to court Thursday morning to say he never meant for things to go as far as they did.

        “They want to destroy his career, and everybody wants to take back his contract and don't want him to go to college ... That was never my intention,” Rasheed told the judge. “My intention was just to make this young man pay for what he had done to my eye. That didn't mean to destroy his career.”

        Harper, a Keenan High School basketball star, hit Rasheed in the eye during a Feb. 17 fight at the home where Harper lives with his aunt. The investigating officer said the assault was mutual.

        Harper, a 6-foot-5 guard considered to be one of the best high school basketball players in the country, spent Monday night in jail after being arrested that afternoon at basketball practice. He had signed a letter of intent to play next year for Cincinnati, but the university withdrew its scholarship offer Tuesday.

        Bryan McCann, assistant sports information director at Cincinnati, told Columbia's WIS-TV Thursday that the school would not offer Harper another scholarship.

        “We have not changed our minds,” McCann said. “We wish Jerome Harper well and are moving on.”


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- UC won't take Harper even after charges dismissed
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