According to buzz around the Internet today, what was once a season-long suspension of Texas Longhorns point guard Myck Kabongo has been reduced to 23 games in a decision by the NCAA’s Division I Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement today.
Here are a few tweets regarding the reduced suspension:
NCAA: Myck Kabongo must sit out 23 games, according to appeal decision today by the Division I Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 21, 2012
Kabongo bailed out by student-athlete reinstatement staff on an appeal “modified the staff decision, which was a one-year withholding.”
— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) December 21, 2012
Given this new 23 game suspension– which includes the 11 games the Longhorns have already played this season– Kabongo will be eligible to return to play for Texas in their February 13, 2013 tilt against the Iowa State Cyclones.
It’s certainly welcome news for a Texas team that will at least enjoy the services of the sophomore point guard for the last eight games of Big 12 Conference play and the Big 12 tournament as well leading into the post-season.
The question however is how Kabongo’s return will go over in the middle of conference play given the team is already starting to gel around New Orleans native and true freshman point guard Javan Felix who has proven to be more than capable through 11 games this season– including a dominant performance in the team’s win earlier this week against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Since Kabongo committed an NCAA violation, he would not be eligible to be red-shirted, so this season will count toward his four-year eligibility limit regardless of the fact he’ll only compete in eight regular season games.
Given this, you can rest assured Rick Barnes will get the most he can out of Kabongo, when he can, especially considering there’s no certainty now that he will jump to the NBA in the off-season, and bypass his final two years of eligibility.
In fact, Kabongo’s NBA draft stock could drop over the next few months since he won’t be playing consistently in live game action and will only be working out on his own in preparation for his February return.
While we may never know the details of Texas’ appeal and why the NCAA reversed their original season-long suspension of the Canadian point guard, it’s welcome news for Texas fans nonetheless.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @KrisHughesRS.