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Texas A&M Freshman Shawn Smith Ruled Partial Qualifier by the NCAA

Peter Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Texas A&M freshman guard Shawn Smith has been well-traveled over the past few years.

Smith finished his high school career at the Faith Baptist Christian School (FL) and committed to the Aggies late last March. Smith, who stands at 6-foot-3, was a former Central Florida and Missouri verbal pledge prior to making his final decision.

One of four members of a heralded freshmen class brought in by head coach Billy Kennedy, Smith will unfortunately not take the court this season after being ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA. The news was first tweeted and reported by CBSSports‘ Jeff Goodman.

As a partial qualifier, Smith will be allowed to practice with the team this season, but will not eligible to play. A number of prospects in recent memory have been forced down this avenue following NCAA investigations, including highly-touted Providence star Ricardo Ledo, who was handed a similar punishment just after the start of the fall semester.

The decision may come as a disappointment for Smith and Aggies’ fan, but shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

Alongside Smith, Kennedy is also welcoming in top-100 prospects Alex Caruso and J’Mychal Reese, as well as JUCO transfer Fabyon Harris, a class that has high implications of boosting the future of the Texas A&M program.

The Aggies are making the switch to the SEC this season and expectations are low in their first season in the league. Kennedy however, has done a terrific job in bringing in some top talent recently, which should brighten expectations in the coming years.

Texas A&M opens up the 2012-13 season on Nov. 9 against Louisiana Tech.

 

Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse