A mix-up involving a player's eligibility has cost the Anne Arundel Community College women's basketball team the services of its lone returning athlete from last season.
And it could get worse.
Assistant Athletic Director Mark Amatucci announced late Thursdayevening that Chesapeake graduate Jen Berg was ruled ineligible for the remainder of the season because she had not registered for classesduring the first semester.
Berg, a 5-foot-11 forward, joined the team during the second semester Jan. 17 and participated in five games -- four of them victories. She was averaging a team-high 17.2 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
Her final appearance was last Tuesday, at home against the New Community College of Baltimore.
Amatucci said he phoned the National Junior College Athletic Association office in Colorado Springs, Colo., early last November to inquire about Berg's eligibility. He said a woman told him that Berg could participate in games once the second semester began.
"At that point, wewere convinced she was eligible," Amatucci said, adding that he failed to ask the woman her name. "But then I received a call from a colleague of mine last week who had a similar situation and said that didn't sound right."
When Amatucci double-checked with the NJCAA offices, he was informed by another source that Berg was not eligible. Hethen contacted Pioneers coach Tom Smith and broke the news.
On Friday, Smith referred all questions regarding Berg to Amatucci.
"She's hurting, obviously," Amatucci said of Berg, whom Smith believes has the ability to play Division I ball. "We feel bad because of the misinformation."
The Pioneers took a 9-3 record into Friday's game at Dundalk Community College.
Amatucci said the question of forfeiture hasn't arisen yet. "If it does, we'll appeal," he said.
"Fornow, we'll just move on and continue with the season," he said. "We're just glad we caught this when we did, so it wouldn't hurt us any further."
In past years, Anne Arundel's women's basketball season hasn't started until the second semester. But this year, Smith's firstat the helm, the Pioneers began play Dec. 5.