On Sunday, it was reported that the Auburn Tigers had self-imposed a postseason ban on its men’s basketball program for the 2020-21 season due to their involvement with the FBI’s investigation into college basketball.
Now, more bad news piles up for the Tigers, as Jeff Borzello of ESPN reported on Monday that five-star freshman Sharife Cooper hasn’t practiced in weeks and is exploring overseas options while he awaits the findings of an NCAA investigation into his eligibility.
“Cooper’s representatives have contacted professional teams in Europe and Australia should the NCAA not clear him to play this season, sources told ESPN. A source said Cooper’s desire is to remain at Auburn this season, but that might not be a possibility if the NCAA doesn’t certify him to play.”
Sources to ESPN: Auburn five-star freshman Sharife Cooper hasn't practiced in weeks and is exploring potential options overseas while he awaits the findings of an NCAA investigation into his eligibility.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) November 23, 2020
Cooper was also a former Kentucky target and a recruit that some thought had a shot to end up in Lexington before John Calipari began focusing on Devin Askew to be the Cats’ point guard in the 2020 class.
In the past, we have seen Coach Cal miss and even pass on recruits, and it turned out that it was a blessing they didn’t get said recruit because of eligibility issues that has put teams in sticky situations.
It looks like this is another example of that, as we are officially on game week of the 2020-21 season, and it’s unclear if Cooper will be able to take the court for Auburn or if he will be on his way overseas.