University of Miami junior forward Dewan Hernandez, holding out hope he can return to the team this season after missing 13 games, is seeking reinstatement from the NCAA, according to his attorney.
Hernandez has been held out of all games this season while the school and NCAA reviewed his eligibility after his name surfaced in court documents related to defendant Christian Dawkins, an agent runner implicated in the FBI investigation of college basketball. Dawkins had written in an e-mail his plans to pay Hernandez monthly during his sophomore year. Though there was no signed contract, the NCAA decided, after being asked by UM to clarify eligibility rules and possible violations, that Hernandez had committed an infraction, which would jeopardize his eligibility.
UM did not agree with the findings, and appealed to the membership committee, which agreed with the initial NCAA ruling. The school has the option of appealing again or declaring Hernandez ineligible and seeking reinstatement from the NCAA, according to NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn. Hernandez is opting to seek reinstatement, according to his attorney, Jason Setchen.
“The NCAA’s interpretation, which was unsupported by records, resulted in Dewan’s ineligibility,” Setchen said. “However, with the support of the university, Dewan is seeking reinstatement by the NCAA for this season. I remain optimistic the NCAA will do what’s fair. Dewan has already suffered harsher-than-appropriate punishment by having missed 13 games.”
The Hurricanes (8-5) are on the road Sunday at Louisville.