Guy-Marc Michel declared ineligible


Photo: Chris Howell | Herald-Times

The NCAA has declared Guy-Marc Michel ineligible for the 2010-11 season.

Michel’s status had been under review as the NCAA investigated the time he spent playing for a French club team. He has not played a minute for Indiana this season, appearing publicly only at Hoosier Hysteria and Night of the Living Red.

We are currently meeting with Julie Cromer, the senior associate athletic director for compliance and administration at Indiana. We will have more as soon as possible.

UPDATE: 8:10 p.m. Dustin Dopirak here.  Wwe have a little bit of clarification on this story after the meeting with Julie Cromer. According to Cromer, Michel’s ineligibility is unique because it’s being caused by the convergence of three NCAA rules.

The first is the five-year “clock” that athletes have to use their four years of eligibility from the time they enroll in school. The investigation into Michel’s amateur status found that Michel enrolled in a French university in 2006. This information was somewhat murky because Michel was taking college-level courses at the same institution where he spent his senior year of high school, a common occurrence in Europe according to Cromer. However, IU and the NCAA found that he did enroll at college courses, so his eligibility clock began running in the Fall of 2006.

The second issue is the effect of a contract — whether it includes payment or not — on amateurism. Though both Indiana and the NCAA found that Michel did not receive financial benefits beyond the bare minimum of expenses required to play, he did sign a contract with the SLUC-Nancy sports club that allowed him to be called up to the professional squad. That becomes a professional contract, and by NCAA rule, that comes with a one-year penalty.

Michel only played five games with SLUC-Nancy’s top division team. According to Cromer the NCAA’s penalty formula is two games for every one played with professional players. That would have meant a 10-game suspension.

However, because Michel’s clock began in the fall of 2006, he’s technically a fifth-year senior, which means he doesn’t have time to serve out the penalty of one year and 10 games.

Cromer said the decision initially came down on Oct. 15, the day of Hoosier Hysteria, and IU has fought it all the way up the ladder because of a new rule that allows for more leniency and flexibility with cases of foreign players working with professionals. However, that rule only begins to apply to incoming freshmen, and because Michel’s clock began in 2006, the NCAA decided not to retroactively apply that rule.

The Indiana release follows:


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee has denied Indiana University’s appeal on behalf of Guy-Marc Michel.  As a result, he is not eligible to participate on the men’s basketball team.

According to the facts agreed to by the university and the NCAA, Guy enrolled in a French university in 2006, which started his five-year clock for Division I participation.

Guy played basketball for a French sports club from 2005 to the 2007-08 season.  Although he competed the majority of the time on club teams not considered professional, he practiced and competed in five games with the club’s top-level team in 2007-08.  Since the top-level team is considered a professional team per NCAA guidelines, his participation triggered NCAA amateurism violations.

Guy’s participation occurred before the new NCAA rule allowing prospective student-athletes to compete on teams with professionals while maintaining their amateur status.

The NCAA reinstatement committee and staff agreed Guy’s eligibility should not be reinstated because he does not have enough time left in his five-year window to complete the withholding conditions normally associated with this type of amateurism violations.

The reinstatement staff and committee consider a number of factors when deciding each case. These include the nature and seriousness of the violation; the student-athlete’s level of responsibility; any mitigating factors presented by the university; applicable NCAA guidelines; and any relevant case precedent.

During this process, the NCAA Eligibility Center and reinstatement staffs worked with our institution to bring this case to resolution.  Even as we faced significant delays while dealing with French authorities, the NCAA staff was responsive and efficient in processing our initial case and the subsequent appeal.

As is permissible by NCAA rules, we will continue to honor Guy’s scholarship as he remains on track to graduate from Indiana University.

Statement from Tom Crean regarding Guy-Marc Michel

“We are disappointed by this decision because 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.  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.”


  1. Steaming pile of crap. How can enrolling in a non NCAA sanctioned University start your 5 year clock?

    Oh well, time to move forward.

  2. I kind of saw this coming after the Kanter decision. Oh well; like Adam said, time to move on. Too many good things happening right now in the world of IU sports for me to get super upset.

  3. Two steps forward one step back the NCAA are real winners here. Not allowing a student athlete to compete good for them. Ha ha I wish Guy Marc Michel all the best he will always be a Hoosier. Guess the NCAA wants us to be down forever. Until Cody gets here or wait better not say that to loud or NCAA police may…Anyway GO HOOSIERS…………

  4. This is tough. Maybe not so much in the long term. But this year’s team needs help down low. I’m getting used to the offense completely ignoring the blocks (out of necessity, we can’t get anything done down there), but he would have been a great presence down low and on the glass.

    At least our undersized forwards (and a number of our guards) all work the glass. That softens the blow a bit.

  5. What foreign country did these NCAA people get their education? I’ll bet if GMM was here illegally he could play. Miles Brand is alive, well and still hating IU.

  6. Another piece of work by Mark Adams. What does he have to do with it? He didn’t play for Adams or Indiana Elite.

  7. Clock is running. Participation before rule changes. All of it mumbo jumbo. The NCAA at its finest.

    Watching the ACC/B10 Challenge. Northwestern shooting lights out. Iowa playing hard and moving a lot. O$U just getting started.

  8. Hey we still have an outstanding team now we are undersized and man short we are going to be fine. I believe Coach Crean and these still some what young players we are coming and we are back we are going to be laughing all of this…

  9. Hugh,
    (Obviously, a huge disappointment.)
    Does GMM’s scholarship count against the 2011-12 total? If not, does it change the recruiting dynamic (since there would be an open scholarship in 2011-120?

  10. First of all, 4 guards — if you’re going to point out the one time you were right, then please proceed in also calling out the myriad times you’ve been proven wrong as well. Let’s be fair. A broken clock’s still right twice a day.

    Moving on…

    There’s just something perverse about all of this. The NCAA continues to appear inconsistent in their rulings and unreasonable in their punitive decisions.

    Selby accepts money from Carmelo Anthony’s agent, and has to sit out nine games.

    Michel finds a way to play basketball in a foreign country where the options are much more limited, accepts no benefits whatsoever, and somehow is now not allowed to play college basketball in the U.S. — ever.

    On top of that, the NCAA apparently realized the flaws in the initial rule, amended it, and then decided that it shouldn’t apply retroactively.

    Brilliant across the board.

  11. The NCAA always sticks it to IU. Interesting that in their press release they have to pat themselves on the back,”the NCAA staff was responsive and efficient in processing our initial case and the subsequent appeal.”
    Sounds like they are a little defensive about the timeliness of their work.
    In the end,we have who have, so GO HOOSIERS!!

  12. My heart breaks for the kid. At least he’ll have the opportunity to get a world-class education.

  13. The future is always now. And though we landed the “everything hinges” 7-footer from Indiana, I can’t say I’m not disappointed in never being able to Guy play. I think he would have been a very positive addition to our team . This young man probably had a much more promising game than the major negative blogger on this site led us down his normal turd-dropping road to assume. Wasn’t McClain the big driving force behind Guy? Hope he doesn’t get too much backlash from this because at the end of the day I think McClain will be the much better find(and longer term addition) than the short-lived benefits of Michel. McClain seems like a great compliment in style and personality to our head coach.

  14. Disappointed but at the time they signed him there weren’t many options. What is the difference between having him around as a practice player for a year or banking the scholarship? Looks like a spot is open for another 11 scholarship?

  15. Dustin,
    Thanks for the clarification on scholarship numbers. I’m still curious to hear if you/Hugh think Crean will recruit another player for 2011-12 given the open scholarship. Obviously, that would have implications for 2012-13… Second question for the experts – is GMM allowed to have any contact with the team (more specifically, can he practice)?

  16. How can he count against our scholarship allotment if he was never eligible and never played? More NCAA mumbo jumbo? You betcha!

  17. Lie, Cheat, and Steal and the NCAA likes you. They have proved over and over again that honesty doesn’t pay.

  18. Fascinating that he was eligible and played at North Idaho College (although that is NJCAA, not NCAA, but what is the difference in the rules?) despite this.

    I wonder if he had transferred instead to a Division II or III school if this would have come up. It seems that all of the scrutiny arose because he transferred to a high profile institution and appeared to have some significant potential.

    And speaking of that, if Guy did have pro potential, does this harm or even kill his chances at a pro career? I say that because he seemed to be developing fairly rapidly. He had certainly come a long way in a short time and, although it may not be highly likely, another two years at Indiana might have developed him into a potential pro. He certainly has the size and general athleticism for it.

    I feel sorry for the guy (or should I say for the Guy!)?

  19. How much would we have panicked a few short weeks ago seeing Cody behind the UNC bench with his parents…wearing powder blue, no less?

  20. Just saw Cody Zeller behind Carolina’s bench wearing Carolina Blue…….I can just imagine how upset people down there are

  21. We gotta go after a big in the 2011 class now, right? Anyone on the radar not named Michael Chandler?

    Damn this sucks.

  22. So what does Guy do now? Is he ineligible to practice with the team? Obviously he can use his scholarship and finish out a year of school at a fine university, but then what? See if he can get some looks in some pro camps?

  23. I don’t necessarily think IU changes their recruiting plan. Adding a 4-year player or a 2-year JUCO player next year throws off the 2012 balance even more. I think getting Harris in 2012 would be more important than adding a late-period big.

    But still. This sucks.

  24. We have an outstanding club still yea it would have been nice to have Guy there. Come on Hoosiernation we need to cheer on this team there is still a solid foundation still here. Help is coming but we need to rally and cheer on this team there is a lot here I enjoy this team there is heart and i know this team will rally and play hard so lets GO HOOSIERS. Two years ago we only had Pritchard and now we have Capobianco, Elston, Watford, Howard we can still prove a lot of people wrong. Get off the NCAA and having to get someone else help is coming and we are coming back so look out.

  25. Michel would have definitely helped IU with their Big Ten schedule; however, if Chandler is eligible academically then he would be a logical 3rd recruit to next years class. Tough breaks…but we’ve gotten used to them over the past 10 years with regards to post-Knight IU basketball.

  26. what a bunch of BS! Selby gets paid cash and is suspended a measly 6 games. GMM isn’t paid but enrolls in some overseas college and is ineligible for the rest of his career. F*** the NCAA, bunch of dumba$$es that only care about bringing as much money as possible to themselves. Why is Cam Newton still playing when there are allegations of receiving benefits? What a screwed up system.

  27. A couple of clarifications that are all in tomorrow’s story. Guy can continue to work with coaches on “skill development” but can not practice “as a member of the team.” So, you know. Interpret that as you will.

  28. I hate this for IU basketball but I really hate it for Guy. I wish the NCAA would look at it from a kid to kid case basis with not so much emphasis on a written numbered rule. This is one time a kid is getting screwed hard while other kids have done much worse but are playing…so I am in the camp with people writing on Selby and Newton. I hope everyone on here knows deep down that this is a huge blow to IU basketball… this year especially. We cannot depend on Pritch or Cap to be consistent and productive at the 5 spot. I bet Guy is worth 3-5 Big ten wins at least. With that said I will keep cheering this undefeated team on to victory!

  29. This cools my enthusiasm for the season a little, but I just can’t get too broken-hearted given that we never really saw him in action. I still think we can be an NIT team.

    However, my heart does break for the kid. It sounds like to the best of his knowledge, he did everything he thought he was supposed to do to be eligible. It just sounds like a lot of NCAA hogwash and strange circumstances.

    I know the NJCAA is different from the NCAA, but it just seems silly that a kid like Michel can be cleared to play JC ball, but not at a Division 1 school.

  30. I am disappointed in the coaching staff. I know CTC has done an OUTSTANDING job recruiting and getting the current team off to a good start. However, this years team needed front court help badly, and to waste a scholarship on a boarder line eligble kid was not smart. If we had an esablished team taking a shot on this kid would have been acceptable, but not in our current situation.

  31. Hey Big Bob,

    Why is this “Another piece of work by Mark Adams?” He has nothing to do with Guy. You should check your facts before you make yourself look foolish.

  32. And Cam Newton is ruled eligible. This makes complete sense to me. Let’s allow the kids who intentionally broke the rules to play (Newton, Selby), but those that did it intentionally and received no benefits should definitely be punished. What a complete joke the NCAA has proved this fall.

  33. One bright point could be that IU now has room to sign both Harris AND Hollowell for 2012.

    I agree that this seems overly harsh by the NCAA to rule Guy ineligible for the rest of his collegiate career when he never received any pay. Why not guy just suspend Guy for 10 games this year and not allow him to play next year. This seems totally reasonable, especially since they are letting Cam Newton play while they investigate his eligibility. I hope IU get some good attorneys to appeal this ruling asap!

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