Nolen’s appeal rejected, will miss rest of season

The junior point guard is ineligible due to academic issues from fall semester.

Michael Rietmulder

University of Minnesota junior basketball player Al Nolen lost an appeal on Tuesday to the Division I Progress Toward Degree Waiver Committee to have his eligibility reinstated for the 2009-10 season, according to a press release from the University athletics department. As a result, the Gophers will be without their starting point guard for the remainder of the season. Nolen has not played since the beginning of spring semester after being ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA. The junior point guard will be unable to compete or travel with the team but is permitted to practice and participate in other team activities. Nolen averaged 6.7 points and 4.7 assists per game this season, but itâÄôs his perimeter defense which will be missed the most. Nolen led the Big Ten with 2.39 steals per game. Sophomore Devoe Joseph , a stronger offensive threat, has started in NolenâÄôs absence and freshman Justin Cobbs has also seen an increase in minutes. Gophers head coach Tubby Smith made no excuses for Nolen when he spoke about the matter two weeks ago. âÄúItâÄôs like I heard a coach say a long time ago, âÄòyou want everybody to get a degree. I canâÄôt get it for them. TheyâÄôve got to do it themselves,âÄôâÄù Smith said. Smith was unavailable for comment on the result of the appeal, according to the release.