The Momo saga continues

Today, the NY Post and Zagsblog are reporting a snag in the transfer process of Momo Jones to St. John's. He's being advised by former assistant coach Dermon Player, who hasn't helped him land at a school yet. (Update: Momo Jones won't transfer to St. John's)

What could be the snag? From Zagsblog:

Arizona transfer Lamont "Momo" Jones cannot enroll at St. John’s this year if Moe Hicks remains on the staff, according to an NCAA rule implemented in 2010.

According to a St. John’s source, rule 11.4.2, essentially say that until two years after a non-coaching staff member has been employed any student-athlete that’s been coached by that staff member cannot be recruited. And if that student-athlete were to enroll at that institution, they would be declared permanently ineligible.

And from the NY Post:

One year ago, Red Storm coach Steve Lavin hired former Rice coach Moe Hicks as the school's director of basketball operations. According to a 2010 rule, 11.4.2, a college that employs an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete in any athletics department non-coaching staff position can't recruit that player for two years.

It has become a controversial rule, because if St. John's had hired Hicks as an assistant coach, it could recruit Jones. Even if Hicks accepts a job at another school, the two-year clause remains in effect.

The conspiracy theorist in me says that, first, this is an interesting interpretation of the rule - one that could be challenged by St. John's. I see the rationale - it's only been a year since Moe Hicks was hired, and he could be a pied piper, bringing players back to the city. I see where the competitive advantage would be.

The only problem... Lamont Jones went to two other schools after Rice, graduating from the American Christian School. Momo Jones left Rice High School after his SOPHOMORE season. Hicks hasn't been Jones' coach in four years. Supposedly, the 2 year no-recruit clock starts when the non-assistant coach (in this case - Moe Hicks, Director of Basketball Operations) is hired to a non-assistant position...

... but that conspiracy theorist in me says that St. John's just doesn't want none of Momo and his drama. I think St. John's could challenge the rule, and challenge it successfully; it's been a long time since Momo and Moe were on a court together.

The youthful Red Storm squad might need another player or two, but maybe this is the one that would upset the building chemistry of the "Noble Nine".

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