An odd situation played out during Florida International's game against Bethune-Cookman on Thursday night.
Ever heard of a player getting pulled off the floor -- right there in the middle of a game -- because of a possible NCAA violation? That's what we had. ESPN.com's Andy Katz first reported that FIU's Raymond Taylor was yanked from the team's game Thursday after the school deduced it had to clarify his standing with the NCAA.
At issue is whether Taylor cleared eligibility following declaring for the 2012 NBA Draft. Yes, more than a year and a half ago. The deadline in 2012 was April 10, a new deadline implemented by the NCAA, and one that came many weeks before the NBA's deadline. Taylor, a senior, is putting up 13.2 points per game in addition to six assists. He did not play last year after transferring from Florida Atlantic following the 2011-12 season/his decision not to enter the NBA Draft.
[FIU coach Anthony] Evans said it caught him off guard and he was still in the fact-finding stage and would meet with the administration Friday.
Earlier Thursday, ESPN contacted the NCAA for clarification on Taylor's eligibility since he withdrew from the draft after the NCAA deadline of April 10. Taylor's name appears on the official NBA early-entry list in a release dated, May 3, 2012. He is in his own category as a collegian who had withdrawn from the NBA draft on the final early-entry list, dated June 20, 2012. NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said in an email Thursday that a player can declare one time for the draft without losing their eligible "as long as they are not drafted by a professional team and as long as they declare their intention to resume playing for their college team before the first day of the spring signing period, typically in April."
Taylor did not. Based on the NBA releases, Taylor waited until sometime between May 3 and June 20 -- after the early-signing period began -- to withdraw.
Basically, Taylor was in line with the NBA's deadline but not the NCAA's. I and so many others have criticized the NBA and NCAA for failing to get along and simply agree on a same-day deadline. Now, although the player and program in question are not the biggest, it is causing something of a headache. Taylor didn't retract his eligibility from the draft on the NCAA's clock in time, so it's possible he might miss some or all of this season/the rest of his college career.
Evans was hired by FIU this past offseason; he would not know the details of Taylor's NBA flirtation from the spring of 2012, when Evans was coming off the biggest win of his career.
Florida International has a college basketball-best six wins through eight games this year.