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NCAA upholds IU basketball suspensions

The NCAA denied Indiana’s appeal to reduce the nine-game suspensions for impermissible benefits for freshmen men’s basketball players Peter Jurkin and Hanner Mosquera-Perea on Friday, meaning they can’t play until Dec. 15. The two have sat five games.

“While we are disappointed with the denial, we are even more disappointed in the case summary as communicated by the NCAA public relations staff,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement.

The NCAA handed down the suspensions on Nov. 6 after ruling Jurkin and Mosquera-Perea had received impermissible benefits from A-HOPE, a nonprofit organization that supports athletes from other countries as they pursue educational and athletic endeavors in the U.S. The organization was founded by Mark Adams, who because he provided a donation of $185 to the IU Varsity Club between 1986 and 1992, is forever considered a booster under NCAA rules. According to IU, the benefits would have been generally permissible had Adams not been deemed a booster.

“While a $185 donation to the university may have triggered the booster’s status, recent interactions reinforce his unique access and continuous involvement with the men’s basketball program,” the NCAA said in a statement Friday. “Specifically, he signed financial aid documents required for two former Indiana University basketball student-athletes in 2008 and 2010. Further, Jurkin and Perea lived with the booster in Bloomington, Ind., during multiple summers. Indiana University also provided the booster, who is a nonscholastic coach, with permissible, complimentary men’s basketball tickets. The university has suspended the relationship with the booster until July 1, 2013.”

Jurkin is a 7-foot center from Juba, South Sudan. He averaged 14.8 points and 8.1 rebounds last year at United Faith Christian Academy in North Carolina. Mosquera-Perea is a 6-8 forward from Istmina, Colombia, who averaged 14.2 points and 10.3 rebounds at La Lumiere School in LaPorte last season.

“This case continues to be about $185 in Varsity Club contributions over 20 years ago, notwithstanding the NCAA National Office’s troubling references to activities that are permissible or would have been permissible but for the minor donations,” Glass said. “Having said that, we accept this as the NCAA’s final word on the case, and we will have no further comment on the matter.”

lpope@jg.net

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