Lopez Ruled Ineligible

By Josh Herwitt - October 05, 2007

This wasn't exactly what Trent Johnson had in mind just four weeks before the 2007-08 season begins.

But the Stanford coach was coming to terms Friday with the fact that forward Brook Lopez has been ruled academically ineligible for the fall quarter.

"This is disappointing for all of us, including Brook," Johnson said. "He has fallen short on his academic responsibilities and is aware of what needs to be done in order to improve his academic standing with Stanford and our basketball program. At the same time, we feel that this could be a positive learning experience for him."

While Johnson has Fred Washington and Lopez's twin brother, Robin, returning to Palo Alto, losing the All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention could be a costly blow for a team that has high expectations after taking a beating from Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year.

Lopez, who averaged 12.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 25.2 minutes of action last season as a member of the 2006-07 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, will still be able to practice during the fall quarter.

Lopez won't get to play in the Cardinal's Dec. 22 date with Texas Tech in Dallas, but if the 7-foot sophomore from Fresno, Calif. can improve his grades in the fall and meet NCAA requirements, he should be eligible for the entire Pac-10 season and any postseason competition.

"Unfortunately, I have failed to live up to my academic requirements and take full responsibility for what has happened," Lopez said. "I regret letting down my team, the university and everyone who supports me. I promise to work hard to improve my academic standing and look forward to being back on the floor to help my team."

Luckily for the Cardinal, their non-conference schedule isn't exactly a barn burner. Aside from its showdown with the Red Raiders, Stanford faces Harvard, Northwestern State, UC Santa Barbara, Northwestern, Siena, Yale, Colorado State, Santa Clara and Fresno State -- not exactly the kind of competition that should put too much fear in the eyes of Johnson and his staff.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 07:01 PM on October 05, 2007

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