TRAVIS BLACK, A US-based Irish college basketball star has been rendered unable to continue his career in the sport after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) deemed him ineligible.
Black, who moved to the States aged 17 to pursue his dream of playing basketball while attending Spartanburg Christian Academy and Spartanburg Methodist College, enjoyed early success in the sport.
He served as point guard for the Pioneers, helping them secure a 64-8 record over two seasons in a period that also encompassed a number one national ranking.
However, his dreams had to be put on hold after he was disqualified from competing by the NCAA on account of Black having graduated from school in Ireland before going on to attend Spartanburg Christian.
After his appeal was turned down, the Irish star told reporters: “My dream has been crushed. I have to figure out what I’m going to do.”
He continued: “Right after I signed, I started doing paperwork. I did paperwork from April until October. I mean serious paperwork. I had to account for every game I participated in since I’ve been in America, exact dates and all that stuff. I sent them transcripts from every school. But they were disorganised. They said they kept losing my stuff. I had to resend everything.”
Clayton State coach, Paul Harrison, who recruited Black, added:
“As good a player as he is, he’s a better person. Guys like Travis Black are ones you want to build programmes around. He makes everybody better and wants them all to do well.
“The fact of the matter is he did nothing wrong. I don’t think anybody did anything wrong. Spartanburg Christian did it the way it’s supposed to be done. They gave him placement tests that any transfer student would be given and determined he was a junior, based on his academic background. SMC didn’t do anything wrong, either. It’s just a shame.”
The college can now no longer afford to keep Black on a scholarship at Clayton State, and he is consequently considering attempting half-scholarships in soccer and athletics. He also hopes to become a basketball coach some day.
H/T to reader Stephen Findlater.