The following is by the Montana State Athletic Department.
Mohamed Fall, a center who completed his junior season at Montana State in March, has lost a season of NCAA Division I eligibility for competing in two showcase exposure basketball games four years ago and won?t be eligible to compete his senior year.
The Senegal native started 26 of his 28 games at MSU in 2011-12, averaging 7.2 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Bobcats. Fall lost a year of eligibility because he played in the event, which he did not know could impact his eligibility, after turning 21 but before enrolling as a full-time college student. Fall played for two seasons at Cloud County Community College before transferring to MSU last fall.
?This is a really tough and unfortunate situation in which Mo didn?t realize he was doing anything against the rules when he played in the games,? said MSU coach Brad Huse. ?The situation was brought to our attention during the amateurism certification process last summer. We did everything we could from a waiver and appeal standpoint but they were denied, and unfortunately he now has to deal with the outcome, as do we as a program.?
Fall enjoyed his season at MSU. ?I really liked playing at Montana State and enjoyed the university and the community,? he said, ?Everyone treated me so well and I really appreciated the opportunity to be here. From a playing standpoint I was very excited about next year?s team and from a personal standpoint I needed my second season here to reach my full potential. But I really feel like I improved as a player and the coaches here really helped me and I will miss them, my teammates, MSU, and Bozeman.?
Huse lauded Fall as an individual and a player. ?Mo was a big part of our plans for next season and I really felt he improved and became more comfortable as the season progressed. He played most of the season hurt (knee problems), but never complained and always brought his best effort. Mo is a tremendous person, a real leader in our program, a conscientious and mature student and person and we lose more than just what he brought to the floor,? Huse said. ?Our relationship with Mo will continue well beyond his playing days here or anywhere, so that piece will always be there. We wish him the absolute best moving forward and we will do everything we can to help Mo as he is forced to transition into a new program.?
MSU submitted a waiver to the NCAA, which was denied, and an appeal, which was also turned down. While Fall explores options to continue playing at a lower division, MSU also plans to honor his scholarship should he choose to continue his education at Montana State.