The 7-foot center played for a French club team from 2005 to the 2007-08 season. In the final year, he played five games with French Pro A League team SLUC Nancy, which is considered a professional team by NCAA standards.
Michel’s participation on the team occurred before a NCAA rule allowing prospective student-athletes to compete on a professional team while maintaining amateur status was instituted.
Another issue for Michel is the NCAA allows every Division I athlete five years of competition after they first enroll in college.
He enrolled in a French university in 2006, which started that five-year clock. The NCAA determined that Michel would have to sit out one year (for signing a professional contract) and 10 games (two games for every one played for SLUC Nancy). By that time, his five-year eligibility would have ended.
Julie Cromer, IU senior associate athletics director for compliance, said Michel worked with the NCAA throughout the investigation process that began on Oct. 15.
“We worked hand-in-hand with him throughout the time,” Cromer said. “He volunteered information. The more information we collected, we went back to him to confirm. He was involved with us from the beginning of the process.”
Cromer said while Michel lost eligibility, IU will still honor the scholarship for the 2010-11 season, and he can receive all benefits a Division I student-athlete has. This includes access to athletic facilities and the ability to receive academic support.
IU coach Tom Crean said in a statement that he was “disappointed by this decision.”
“Everyone involved in this process agrees that Guy did not intentionally do anything that would have jeopardized his ability to play here or at any of the number of institutions that also recruited him,” Crean said in a statement. “We will regroup, assess all our options and do whatever we can for Guy, who has demonstrated to us that he deserves to be part of the IU program.”
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