Tuesday , Feb , 24 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Bonnies to participate in A-10 Tourney

=== Bonnies to participate in A-10 Tourney ===

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – St. Bonaventure will participate in the
Atlantic 10 Conference basketball tournament, which begins March 10.

The school was placed on three years’ probation and barred from post-season
play this year in a ruling last week by the NCAA, the result of using an
ineligible player last season.

The NCAA considers conference tournaments part of the regular season, giving
the leagues the option of deciding whether teams are eligible for its
conference tournaments.

“St. Bonaventure has done everything possible to rectify what happened last
season,” said Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president of George Washington
University and chair of the Atlantic 10 Presidents Council. “The presidents of
the Atlantic 10 voted to hold them out of last year’s men’s basketball
championship and that was appropriate. St. Bonaventure has taken measures to
ensure that something like this never happens again and the presidents of the
Atlantic 10 Conference applaud those measures.”

The case stemmed from violations of bylaws concerning the improper
certification of a student-athlete as well as extra benefits from an
impermissible academic arrangement.

Last season, the Bonnies had to forfeit six conference victories and were
banned from the post-season by the Atlantic 10 after junior Jamil Terrell was
ruled ineligible for violating junior college transfer guidelines.

The fallout cost head coach Jan van Breda Kolff his job, while university
president Robert Wickenheiser and athletic director Gothard Lane resigned.

This season, St. Bonaventure is just 6-17 overall and 2-10 in the Atlantic 10
under first-year coach Anthony Solomon.

Should the Bonnies win the conference tournament, the league has voted to give
its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament to the runner-up.

“The NCAA allows a conference until March 1 to declare how its champion will
be decided,” said A-10 commissioner Linda Bruno. “We asked to amend our
automatic qualification criteria and the NCAA accepted that amendment.”

In addition to probation and post-season ban, the NCAA Division I Committee on
Infractions also limited recruiting visits by coaches and players and reduced
the school’s number of scholarships.