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Ask either Mississippi Stateâ€™s head menâ€™s basketball coach or its suspended point guard about the offseason drama and they both turn into The Captain character from Cool Hand Luke.
Both of them consider the entire situation that led to Dee Bost being ruled ineligible and suspended for nine games starting this spring as simply failure to communicate.
â€śNobody told me I could come back (once he missed the May 8 deadline), I thought I could come back,â€ť Bost said. â€śI lost contact with my coaches. I listened to the wrong people.â€ť
Bost admitted during a Thursday media conference he believed the whole time he could go through the entire NBA Draft process and then if he went undrafted eventually would come back to Mississippi State.
Multiple sources told Starkville Daily News on May 8, Bost was informed by numerous school officials and coaches of the necessity to make a decision one way or another before the 4 p.m. deadline so MSU did not make part of its appeal that he was not properly informed throughout the situation.
Bostâ€™s head coach interjected his belief the May 8th deadline had nothing to do with his playerâ€™s situation.
â€śHis decision had nothing to do with May 8 now,â€ť MSU head coach Rick Stansbury said. â€śHe wasnâ€™t telling us everything. It was about in the past you could stay in the draft, go undrafted and then come back to school.â€ť
However, the NCAA saw it differently as they decided to reinstate Bostâ€™s eligibility on Sept. 29 but has issued him a nine-game suspension when he becomes academically eligible. According to the ruling by the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Staff, the suspension is specifically for Bost failing to properly withdraw by the May 8 NBA draft deadline.
â€śEstablishing a shorter time frame by which student-athletes must withdraw from the draft and declare their intent to resume intercollegiate participation will encourage student-athletes to refocus on academics sooner and lessen the potential for violations of NCAA rules that will jeopardize their amateur status,â€ť NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn told the Starkville Daily News on Sept. 30.
Despite this being the first case in NCAA history of a men's college basketball player challenging the new draft withdraw deadline that was moved up from its original date in mid-June, Stansbury maintained he was not surprised by another off-the-court situation surrounding his basketball program.
â€śNothing surprises you with my career,â€ť Stansbury said. â€śThereâ€™s no quiet offseasons.â€ť
Both Bost and Stansbury stated to the media Thursday that the point guardâ€™s workout schedule in Las Vegas was what hampered him academically in the 2010 spring semester to make him ineligible this fall.
â€śWhat he went through with this draft affected him getting his grades this spring so he could be eligible,â€ť Stansbury said. â€śIf he hadnâ€™t been going through this, heâ€™d been fine academically. Deeâ€™s a good student. It wasnâ€™t because of bad grades. It was about the amount of hours he had to pass.â€ť
Bost, a 6-foot-2 guard, was coming off a sophomore season averaging 13 points, 5.2 assists per game and 4.4 rebounds per game. The current academic semester ends on Dec. 10 and according to the agreed upon dates of MSUâ€™s 2010-11 non-conference schedule, Bost will be eligible to return for the Southeastern Conference opener at Humphrey Coliseum against Alabama.
â€śItâ€™s always an easy problem to have when you can plug in players that can play,â€ť Stansbury said. â€śDeeâ€™s played for two years so his adjustment will be minimized.â€ť
The Bulldogsâ€™ season opener will be at Humphrey Coliseum on Nov. 12 against Tennessee State.
Mississippi State will be without Bost and sophomore forward Renardo Sidney for the first month of the season as Sidney, a former McDonaldâ€™s All-American prospect, has been suspended by the NCAA for the first nine regular season games of the 2010-11 season due to receiving impermissible benefits received prior to when he signed and arrived on the Mississippi State campus.
â€śLast year we went through a season anticipating having Sid,â€ť Stansbury said. â€śThe positive thing is weâ€™re going into this season understanding some things.â€ť