St. John’s has been waiting for weeks on the NCAA to clear Marcus LoVett eligible for competition. Finally the school received word today and it wasn’t what anyone had hoped for. LoVett was ruled as a partial qualifier meaning he would be unable to play in games this season. Basically another way of saying he’s an academic redshirt. The university released this statement earlier today:
QUEENS, N.Y. (Nov. 11, 2015) – St. John’s freshman guard Marcus LoVett (Fort Wayne, Ind./Morgan Park) has received partial qualifier status from the NCAA. The University was notified by the NCAA of its final decision after exhausting the appeals process. LoVett will remain enrolled at St. John’s, but must complete a year of residence at the University before participating in game competition. He is permitted to practice with the team as he works toward meeting NCAA continuing eligibility requirements.
“The University disagrees with the NCAA’s decision and the process it used in reviewing Marcus’ initial eligibility waiver request,” said St. John’s interim athletic director and general counsel Joseph Oliva, Esq. “We have engaged in several conversations with the NCAA to express our concerns that their process may have violated Marcus’ legal rights. Unfortunately, it appears that the NCAA elected to disregard these concerns. We have advised Marcus and his family to consult with appropriate legal counsel about the options that may be available to challenge the NCAA ruling and the standards it applied in this process.”
“Marcus and his family have been patient throughout this lengthy process,” said St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin. “Marcus deserves to play and has done everything asked of him. Our staff is here to encourage Marcus as he continues to work hard on and off the court to be prepared to compete next season.”
LoVett is a four-star, consensus top-25 point guard who attended Morgan Park High School in Chicago. The 6-foot southpaw was a First Team All-State selection by the Chicago Tribune. He finished fourth in the statewide vote for Mr. Basketball in 2015 after averaging roughly 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game. LoVett led his team to a third place finish at the state tournament in 2015 and set an Illinois Class 3A playoff record posting 45 points on 20-of-27 shooting in the semifinals.
Prior to Morgan Park, he lettered two seasons at Providence High School in Burbank, Calif., where he averaged over 30 points per game. LoVett spent his junior season at San Gabriel Academy in San Gabriel, Calif. He received the 2014 Wooden High School Player of the Year Award for CIFSS Division V averaging approximately 22 points and six assists.