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Eight minutes of scrimmage ends eligibility for ODU's Donte Hill

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

Donte Hill played briefly in a scrimmage while at Clemson, and it cost him a final year at Old Dominion. (USATSI)
Donte Hill played briefly in a scrimmage while at Clemson, and it cost him a final year at Old Dominion. (USATSI)

Donte Hill was an eight points/four boards/three dimes a game guard for a bad Old Dominion team last season. The team hoped to have him back for 2013-14, as he'd be the most experienced man on the roster for a team leaving the CAA and heading to Conference USA.

But that won't be happening after the NCAA decided Hill's college career to be over. On Thursday the organization let ODU know it wouldn't have the services of Hill going forward, deeming eight minutes played during a scrimmage of Hill's sophomore year at Clemson to be enough to wipe away a year of eligibility. The NCAA initially made this decision in June, ODU appealed it, and now with the appeal failing the case is closed. Hill is done playing college basketball.

NCAA bylaws state any time played in officially sanctioned competition -- scrimmages included -- start the clock on a player's eligibility in that given year. So despite the fact Hill logged eight measly minutes in a meaningless game a few years ago, it wound up costing him in the end.

“I am very disappointed by the NCAA's decision to deny my appeal, as I was hopeful there would have been reconsideration for my case," Hill, a team captain, said in a statement. "I am very appreciative of the efforts on my behalf by Old Dominion. I enjoyed my time here, and I will be a Monarch forever.”

Hill transferred from Clemson to Old Dominion in 2011. The scrimmage in question came shortly before his decision to leave Clemson.

“Obviously, this news is extremely disappointing to our staff and team and of course to Donte,” Monarchs coach Jeff Jones said in a release. "He had a short, but successful career at ODU and more importantly has his sociology degree from the university. Donte is a great representative of the ideals the NCAA encourages in its student athletes. We know Donte has a bright future ahead of him.”

ODU was 5-25 last year, the worst season in men's hoops history, which also included the midseason firing of longtime coach Blaine Taylor. The school and Taylor recently settled on money terms after his termination in February.

Hill was named to the CAA All-Academic team last season.

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