According to UConn head men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie and the Hartford Courant, my initial hunch about Kentan Facey was correct. Because of Jamaica’s British-style education system, he may have graduated from high school before he moved to Long Island:
“There are some eligibility issues with his coming over from Jamaica and going to Long Island,” Ollie said. “We’ve got to discuss that with NCAA. I don’t see it being a problem, once he is able to tell his side and why he decided to come over when he did and what was the formality of him being placed in a certain grade. I think we got a great case on our side and I think we’ll see him with a UConn jersey on in the fall, also.
If he did trigger high school graduation back in Jamaica, then Facey would have to be evaluated under the NCAA’s delayed enrollment rule. Athletes are given a one-year grace period after their actual or expected graduation to continue competing without penalty. After that they are charged one season of competition for each year they competed, plus they must serve a year in residence, i.e. a mandatory redshirt as freshmen.
Because Facey played three years after leaving Jamaica, the worst case scenario is that he loses two seasons of eligibility and must sit out the 2013–14 season. Despite the mitigation UConn believes it has, the school may be willing to meet the NCAA halfway:
UConn is hoping that Facey, a 6-foot–9 forward/center, will be ruled eligible to play this year, or any loss of eligibility would be on the back end of his career, perhaps he would be eligible three years instead of four.
In formal terms, UConn may be happy with partial relief from the penalty. The school could be asking for full relief, Facey being ruled eligible to play this year with four seasons of competition remaining. But they may also be requesting an alternative penalty of losing only one season and not having to sit out this year.