Jakarr Sampson, by Tracy Boulian, via Cleveland Plain-Dealer
While I believe St. John's basketball trajectory is still upwards, today's NY Post adds some more dirty detail on the ineligibility of Jakarr Sampson, Norvel Pelle, and Amir Garrett from Lenn Robbins.
The trio of ballers are looking at the "usual suspect" prep schools in the northeast - South Kent, Bridgton, Brewster, and IMG Academy in Florida - all schools that have housed St. John's players for prep years. They would retake the classes that were not approved by the NCAA there, and hopefully be eligible in December.
Then there is this nugget:
Another source close to one of the families told The Post that each of the players are certified as learning disabled, which allowed them to take three summer classes, one more than the NCAA allows for summer school.
Though the players received A grades across the board, more than what was needed to attain eligibility, the NCAA felt St. John’s was trying to manipulate the system. They denied all the grades, leaving the players with one option: make up the work in prep school.
The families expressed feelings of anger and frustration. They believe their sons did exactly what was asked of them by the NCAA.
That's a bold statement to put in an article; though hearing that the players were at some Philadelphia prep school getting their grades right raised more questions than answers.
Is this information grist for the "Lavin is dirty" mill? Definitely. Bad publicity for the St. John's program? It sure is.
Will other programs use it to recruit against Lavin? You bet.