NCAA denies Royce White a chance to play this season

Trevor Born

The NCAA denied former Gophers menâÄôs basketball Royce White a waiver to compete for Iowa State in the upcoming basketball season.

White, a highly-touted recruit, left the University in February amid legal issues. He was arrested in October after a shoplifting incident at the Mall of America and later pleaded guilty to theft and disorderly conduct, and was suspended before ever playing a game for the Gophers. He withdrew from the University shortly into the second semester, and was not in good academic standing.

White was a four-star recruit, winning MinnesotaâÄôs Mr. Basketball award in 2009 after leading Hopkins to an undefeated season and a state championship, and Rivals.com ranked him as the second best forward in the class of 2009. The top-25 recruiting class that included White, Trevor Mbakwe and Justin Cobbs hasnâÄôt panned out well, as Mbakwe missed all of last season with legal troubles of his own and Cobbs transferred to the University of California in May.

White announced his transfer to Iowa State in July and filed for the waiver shortly after. The school plans to appeal the decision, and will send the appeal to a committee of athletic directors and faculty representatives.

âÄúWe will exhaust every option available to try and restore RoyceâÄôs eligibility,âÄù Iowa State head coach and former Timberwolves guard Fred Hoiberg said in a release. âÄúRoyce is disappointed as well, but he is appreciative of our intent to appeal the decision.âÄù

The Gophers, who now have Mbakwe back, open their regular season Friday against Wofford at Williams Arena.

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