NAIA ball takes bad bounce for Lloyd

On College Basketball

February 02, 1996|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Michael Lloyd's eligibility mess took another turn for the worse Wednesday, when the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics refused to clear him to play for Auburn-Montgomery this season.

Lloyd, who four years ago teamed with Donta Bright and Keith Booth to bring Dunbar High a mythical national title, surfaced at the NAIA school in Alabama in early January. Five months earlier, he wrote a letter to Syracuse officials telling them that he had signed with an agent last April and was seeking to turn pro.

Once enrolled at Auburn-Montgomery, Lloyd said he concocted the agent story just to get the NCAA off his trail.

The NCAA has been investigating a Bible school in Florida, where correspondence courses have been abused by junior college athletes. Lloyd used such a course to get an associate degree from San Jacinto Junior College and enroll at Syracuse, where he averaged 12.5 points and a team-leading 4.7 assists last season.

Then came a four-hour interview with the NCAA, which wanted to know why he and junior college teammate Stacy Robinson missed the same six questions on a 62-question multiple-choice test -- and had the same wrong answers on five of the six. Lloyd's letter of withdrawal from Syracuse followed.

"The letter was sent at a time I was under a lot of pressure from the NCAA, and I just wanted to get them off my back," Lloyd told the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser on Wednesday. "I knew at the time I hadn't signed with an agent, but it was a decision I made and now I've lost."

Lloyd plans to remain at Auburn-Montgomery for now. NAIA rules allow him to test the NBA draft waters and return for the 1996-97 season, as long as he has not signed with an agent, which is still a point of contention.

"If there are not a lot of point guards coming out or if there is a need for a lot, then it might be appealing," Lloyd said of the NBA draft. "If it's best for me to come back for another year of school [at Auburn-Montgomery], I'll do that. Going to the [NBA] camps at Chicago and Portsmouth is something I could look into."

Because Lloyd's fall conditioning consisted of pickup games at the Downtown Athletic Club, Europe or the CBA may be more realistic options.

No miracles for Prosser

Skip Prosser is going to need another series of upsets to get into the NCAA tournament for a third straight year.

Prosser made the most of his one season at Loyola, taking the Greyhounds to their first and only trip to the NCAAs with an

improbable run through the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament in 1994. He promptly returned to Xavier, where he had been an assistant, and last season guided the Musketeers to a 23-5 record and their ninth NCAA bid in 10 years.

Xavier (9-8 overall, 5-2 in the Atlantic 10's West Division) figures to fall back to .500 after Sunday's nationally televised game against top-ranked Massachusetts. The Musketeers start three freshmen and play three more off the bench, including Terrance Payne, a Lake Clifton grad who sat out last season after knee surgery.

"We're such a fragile team because of our lack of experience," Prosser said.

Yippie in Ypsilanti

The celebration over Eastern Michigan's first appearance in the Top 25 didn't last long. The 23rd-ranked Eagles lost a Mid-American Conference game at Ohio University on Wednesday night.

Eastern Michigan's roster includes an Australian, an Israeli, an Egyptian and Todd Beeten, a freshman guard from Alexandria, Va. His father, Scott, is an assistant at George Washington and big brother Chad is the top player at Goucher.

While we're dropping names, who are the two most decorated athletes to come out of Eastern Michigan? George Gervin, the "Iceman," and America's reigning mile champion and Olympic hopeful, a truly great name in sports, Paul McMullen.

Miscellaneous

Nick Bosnic, who played for Maryland two years ago, is starting at small forward for Duquesne. He's averaging 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds and is shooting 39.9 percent. . . . Coppin State wasn't the only power to lose its first game in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on Monday night. South Carolina State, the preseason pick, lost to Bethune-Cookman. The conference upheaval continued Wednesday when Florida A&M, the host of the MEAC tournament, fired coach Ron Brown. . . . State RPIs entering this week: Maryland, 32; Mount St. Mary's, 121; Towson State, 155; Coppin State, 180; Loyola, 183; Navy, 239; Morgan State, 247; UMES, 277; UMBC, 291. Strength of schedule counts for 50 percent in the ratings percentage index, the formula used by the NCAA to seed the 64-team tournament.

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