University officials announced Tuesday night that three Colorado State men's basketball players have been declared academically ineligible for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 17.
Larry Eustachy and the rest of the Rams will be without junior college products Kimani Jackson, Che Bob and Devocio Butler, as all three failed to meet the minimum post-grade requirements for their fall classes.
A news release confirming the news included the following statement from Eustachy:
“We will continue to support these young men in their academic careers. Our top priority is to educate, and we will continue to emphasize this in all that we do. It is a hard lesson, but we will continue to support these young men and provide access to the resources needed to excel in the classroom and graduate. This is disappointing for our entire program, especially the players still competing on the court. All of us will remain focused on our ‘Team Together’ philosophy that is key to our success. We look forward all three getting on track in their academic pursuits towards graduation and joining us on the court next season.”
Of the group, the loss of Bob arguably hurts the team the most. The 6-6 transfer forward from South Plains College has extreme upside and showed it in spurts this season. Bob enters Wednesday night's game averaging nine points and five rebounds per game.
Butler, who played a critical part in CSU's road win over Colorado, provided a much-needed scoring threat off the bench. The 6-5 guard from Hill College has averaged six points per game.
Jackson, a 6-8 forward from New Mexico College, had easily his best game of the 2016-17 season Saturday night against Boise State, totaling nine points and five rebounds. Jackson has put up nearly five points per game to go with three rebounds.
The Rams face a daunting task moving forward, and particularly after the Jan. 14 matchup with New Mexico, which will be the last game of the season for Bob, Butler and Jackson.
At that point, Eustachy will have only seven players at his disposal. It's very possible that the fifth-year CSU coach will be forced to bring in some walk-ons just to ensure he has enough players to work with the remainder of the season.
CSU has another road contest Wednesday night when they face San Jose State at 8 p.m.