Wednesday, October 06, 1999

XU, Chalmers settle for partial-qualifier status


Prosser: Guard out of options

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Having exhausted all possibilities that would allow freshman Lionel Chalmers to be eligible for at least part of this basketball season, coach Skip Prosser said Tuesday that Xavier will have the 6-foot point guard only as a practice player.

        Chalmers, upgraded to partial qualifier from nonqualifier by the NCAA last month after an appeal by XU, will have to sit out this season. He can practice with the team, participate in Midnight Madness activities and earn a fourth year of eligibility if he completes the requirements for his degree after four years of school.

        “We looked at all of the potential scenarios, every different avenue we could pursue,” associate athletic director Dawn Rogers said. “Just based on precedent, we feel this was the best that Lionel would get, unfortunately.

        “We still believe he deserved to be a full qualifier. There were just no other ways to make it happen. We took our time and looked at all the options; we wanted to do everything we could for Lionel. We really felt there was no relief left for him.”

        Chalmers transfered from Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady, N.Y., to Albany (N.Y.) High School for his senior year, and a miscommunication between the schools resulted in Chalmers not having a high enough combined core-course grade-point average and test score to make him eligible.

        Xavier appealed, saying Chalmers did what he was asked but received bad information from the high schools. The NCAA agreed, allowing him to be a partial qualifier, meaning he can be on scholarship and practice with the team. But the NCAA refused to allow Chalmers to play this season.

        Junior Maurice McAfee is the only other scholarship point guard on Xavier's roster. Prosser said redshirt sophomore Alvin Brown, recruited as a shooting guard, will back up McAfee. XU also will look for a point guard in walk-on tryouts.

        “We're going to have to groom somebody,” Prosser said. “(Maurice) isn't going to play 40 minutes a game for 29 games. You can't ask that of anyone.”

        Prosser said Darnell Williams or Lloyd Price could end up at point guard, but “we'd rather have them finishing plays than starting them.”

       



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