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Appeal Turned Down: 7-Foot Horford Is Not Eligible to Compete at Houston

January 13, 1986| Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Much-traveled 7-foot basketball star Tito Horford remains ineligible to play at the University of Houston because of an illegal recruiting contact in 1984, an NCAA appeals committee ruled Sunday.

Whether he's eligible to play anywhere else is something that will have to be determined, said Dave Maggard, athletic director at California and chairman of the committee.

In other rulings, the appeals committee said that world-class sprinter Joe DeLoach can regain his eligibility at Houston next year and that two Baylor basketball players--Eric Johnson and Darryl Middleton--will be eligible for the final eight games of the regular season instead of having to sit out the rest of the year.

Horford, a native of the Dominican Republic, signed a national letter of intent to play at Houston, but a squabble arose over the validity of the signature on the letter.

That became moot when the NCAA ruled that assistant basketball coach Donnie Schverak illegally contacted Horford during the no-contact period in late July of 1984.

Horford played his high school basketball at Marian Christian in Houston and was on the University of Houston campus at the start of this school year, awaiting an appeal of the ruling that he was ineligible.

But he showed up suddenly at Louisiana State and signed to play there. However, without warning he failed to show up for a preseason scrimmage and was dismissed from the team.

For several days after that, he was reported as being in Washington, New York, Houston, Baton Rouge and other spots before showing up again at Houston.

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