Thursday, March 15, 2001

Xavier Notebook

Prep ineligibility won't affect Sato

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Romain Sato was recently found to be ineligible last season when he won Ohio's Mr. Basketball honors at Dayton Christian, but the Xavier freshman's collegiate eligibility is not affected.

        Sato, a Central African Republic native, had local guardianship legally established while in high school, but Dayton Christian never filed those papers with the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the Dayton Daily News reported this week.

        “When we heard this, we made sure to go back and follow up on Romain's (collegiate) eligibility,” associate athletic director Dawn Rogers, XU's compliance officer, said Wednesday. “He graduated from high school, took all the required core courses and had the minimum test requirements, and everything checks out perfectly.”

        Dayton Christian, which annually enrolls about 25 foreign-exchange students, last month had to forfeit 19 boys basketball games and its entire girls basketball season. The OHSAA ruled that three foreign girls players and three foreign boys were ineligible because of improper guardianship transfers.

        Sato averaged 26.4 points and 15.4 rebounds last season, his only high school season, in leading DC to a 24-1 record and regional finals appearance. The OHSAA has a statute of limitations of 42 days after a season ends, so the school's record remains intact.

        “My guardians got the papers (two years ago) and gave it to the school so I could play the next year,” Sato said Wednesday. “That was the first I ever heard about (the school not filing them).”

        EVERYBODY LOVES XAVIER: XU has become a trendy upset pick. Blue Ribbon, the Chicago Tribune,, RPI guru Jerry Palm and Virginia coach Pete Gillen forecast a Notre Dame loss.

        “Nobody thinks we are going to win,” coach Mike Brey said. “I think everybody thinks we are dead in the water. I think that will help our guys some.”

        WOMEN'S TICKETS: Xavier said 5,000 all-sessions tickets for the women's games at Cintas Center had been sold as of Wednesday afternoon. All-sessions tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students, and are available at the XU ticket office and TicketMaster outlets or by calling (513) 745-3411.

        DOUBLEHEADER: XU officials will broadcast the men's game at Cintas Center following the women's game Friday.

Online pool and college hoops coverage at

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