<
>

NCAA clears junior

12/19/2003 - Baylor Bears

WACO, Texas -- The NCAA has cleared junior transfer Harvey Thomas to play basketball after an investigation of allegations that he had been provided an extra benefit by former members of the basketball staff.

"I am really thankful that this is behind me and I want to
thank all of those involved in the final decision," Thomas said
Thursday.

Thomas has missed Baylor's first eight games, but is expected to
play Friday against BYU-Hawaii.

Baylor said it had first declared Thomas ineligible after the
university's compliance investigation committee determined he had
been given an extra benefit in violation of NCAA regulations.
Baylor officials declined to comment on the nature of the alleged
benefit.

"Our coaching staff and team are very excited to have Harvey
eligible to play," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.

Baylor placed itself on a two-year probation this summer and
will not play in the Big 12 tournament or any other postseason
events this season.

The probation followed a school inquiry that began after the
disappearance and death of player Patrick Dennehy. Former player
Carlton Dotson is charged with the murder and is jailed in Waco.

Former coach Dave Bliss was found to be directly involved in
paying tuition costs and other expenses for Dennehy and another
player. Other players have not been named.