Thursday, November 08, 2012

Virginia Tech to hold out women;s basketball player

Virginia Tech Hokies basketball

Berman Courtside

Virginia Tech women's basketball coach Dennis Wolff said Wednesday that Tech is planning to hold junior forward Uju Ugoka out of the first nine games of the season because of an NCAA rules issue.

Tech is hoping the NCAA will reduce the number of the games she must miss, but Ugoka definitely will miss Friday's opener against Old Dominion. She was a likely starter.

Wolff said Ugoka apparently ran afoul of an NCAA amateurism rule while she was in junior college. He would not elaborate. Ugoka, a two-time junior college All-American, spent her freshman year at Grayson County (Texas) College and her sophomore year at Gulf Coast (Fla.) State.

The NCAA has not suspended Ugoka yet, but Tech is holding Ugoka out because a penalty is expected.

"We have an obligation to withhold her while we get all the facts," Tech associate athletic director of compliance Tim Parker said. "It appears at this point that her amateurism status was compromised."

Ugoka was named to the ACC's preseason five-woman "newcomer watch list" by the coaches and the media. If she has to miss nine games, she would not be eligible until a Dec. 22 game against Wake Forest.

- Mark Berman

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