There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Alabama basketball team this offseason. Head coach Avery Johnson brought his team’s talent to a new level by signing the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation. Unfortunately for the Tide, with the class comes stipulations.
Alabama officials ruled freshman point guard Collin Sexton ineligible ahead of its exhibition game against Alabama-Huntsville Monday night, per ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Jeff Goodman. According to the university, Sexton was held out after the NCAA failed to reinstate his eligibility. The news came after officials determined his name was connected to the FBI probe involving Auburn’s Chuck Person and former NBA referee Rashan Michel.
Former Alabama associate athletics director Kobie Baker resigned from his position just days after the initial complaint surfaced back in September. Baker is accused of accepting bribes from Michel and an unnamed witness to influence Alabama players to use financial adviser Martin Blazer after they declared for the NBA. The complaint also states that Baker and Michel met with an unnamed player’s father in Atlanta. Sexton, a native of Mableton, Georgia, is believed to be the unidentified player in the FBI’s complaint.
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne issued a statement regarding the ruling:
“We don’t have any further information at this time, but we will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and work toward a resolution that results in Colin’s [sic] timely reinstatement. While we are disappointed, the right decision was to err on the side of caution for tonight’s exhibition game.”
Sexton was the No. 5-ranked recruit in the 2017 signing class according to 247 Sports.
The news of Sexton’s ineligibility came only hours after it was announced that the Tide’s leading scorer from last season, Braxton Key, will have to undergo surgery on his meniscus. So far, the 25th ranked team’s season is off to an unexpected start.
Alabama will face Memphis Friday, Nov. 10, for its first game of the regular season.