With school already underway the NCAA clearing house notified the Bobcats men’s coaching staff and freshman post player Jordan Salley from LaVerne, Los Angeles that they were ruling Salley a “Non-qualifier” for NCAA Division 1 purposes. What this meant is that he would not be allowed to compete for the Bobcats or any other D-1 program until he completes an associate degree from a junior college.
Salley was already enrolled and taking classes at MSU when the news broke. Salley has since transferred to Santa Rosa Junior college in Northern California, and will compete for then the next two years.
As I understand it Salley came up short by the slimmest of margins and that his situation is very similar to that of former Griz basketball player (for about 3 weeks) Thurmond Woods last year.
I have heard from multiple sources that Salley when he left hope to transfer back to play for the Bobcats for the 2012-13 season. That said as much I believe my sources, though, a lot can change in two years and these things do not always work out.
I have heard rumors that Sacramento State is already recruiting him and may have already offered him for 2012-13.
Salley had been with the Bobcats since this past summer, attending summer school. He was coming off a year away from basketball after tearing his ACL in June of 2009. This fall Salley was still playing himself back into shape, and may have been a candidate for a redshirt this year, but he was showing signs of being an outstanding player for the Bobcats down the line.
With Salley having to leave the program, it did provide the opportunity for the Bobcats to use the open scholarship to offer Bobcat walk-on Tor Anderson a full ride to Montana State.
Anderson was a player the coaching staff was very high on coming out of high school, and while they offered him a scholarship in the summer of 2009, they did not have a scholarship available last spring. Much to the coaches’ delight, Anderson decided that Montana State was the place he wanted to play college ball and informed the coaches of his wishes to walk-on and try to earn a scholarship. After Anderson committed to the Bobcats, Drexler offered Anderson a full basketball scholarship for the 2010-11 year but Anderson turned it down and honored his commitment to MSU. Nothing was guaranteed to Anderson when he committed, but he has been playing well enough this summer and fall that he was immediately offered the scholarship when Salley was forced to transfer.
The NCAA ruling will have an impact on MSU basketball but by far the biggest impact will be to Jordan Salley and his family. From everything that I have heard of Salley in his short time in Bozeman, though, I am quite sure he will bounce back and make the best of the situation, and if the Bobcats are fortunate enough hopefully he will be wearing the Blue and Gold in a few short years.