According to the Dallas Morning News, Billy Gillispie’s team at Ranger College, a junior college in Texas, has been forced to forfeit all 31 wins from last season for using an ineligible player. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) handed down the ruling in May and after several appeals by Ranger, upheld their original decision yesterday.
The player in question, Joshua Simmons, played in every game last season, averaging 11.4 points and nine rebounds; however, because he applied to enter the NBA Draft in 2013, the NJCAA ruled him ineligible. Ranger College president Bill Campion claims Simmons’ workout coach submitted his name to the Draft without his knowledge then took his name out, but according to NJCAA rules, a player becomes ineligible as soon as he applies for the Draft.
Not only will Ranger have to forfeit all 31 wins from the 2015-2016 season and their fourth-place finish in the 2016 NJCAA DI Men’s Basketball Championship, they will be on probation for the upcoming season and can’t participate in postseason play.
How is Gillispie taking the news?
As for Gillispie, Campion said the coach took the news hard, having “poured his heart” into Ranger since he was hired as basketball coach and athletic director in April 2015.
Despite the setback, Campion says Gillispie is committed to staying at Ranger.