Romero had been ruled eligible to play

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State's Diego Romero decided to
sit out this season just days after he was ruled eligible by the

Romero, a 6-foot-10 player from Argentina, was initially ruled a
professional by the NCAA but was reinstated Monday. He could have
played immediately, but chose to redshirt because he had already
missed half the season. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Romero missed the first 15 games of the season while his case
was being sorted out. The decision to sit out was made after the
player consulted with his parents in Argentina and coach Leonard

A social studies major at Florida State, Romero said he would
use the rest of the year to concentrate on his classes and work on
improving his game.

"It's kind of weird, but I like going to class every day,"
said Romero, who earned a 3.0 grade point in his first semester at
Florida State.

"I wanted to play so badly this season," he said. "But I
think this is the best thing for all who've done so much for me."

Hamilton said Romero would practice and travel with the team.

"I'm glad it's over and I can concentrate on coaching my
team," Hamilton said. "It's been a distraction, that's for

The Seminoles (12-4, 1-2 ACC) have lost three straight games.
Romero was banned on an amateurism violation for signing two
professional contracts in Argentina to receive $2,400 in living

The school argued he didn't intend to become a professional
athlete, and that he should have been exempted under the rules in
place when he began playing at a Texas junior college.

Romero, who hails from Comodoro Rivadavia in Argentina, played
two seasons at Lon Morris Junior College in Texas. He averaged 14.5
points and 8.5 rebounds last year.