PITTSBURGH - Tennessee men's basketball player Jeronne Maymon isn't eligible for the Vols' game against Pittsburgh today despite passing his fall semester classes and having them posted online.
"All grades have to be posted by Dec. 14 (Tuesday) and they are available (official) on Dec. 15 (Wednesday),'' Margie Nichols, a spokesperson for the University of Tennessee office of the provost, said Friday afternoon.
Maymon was told UT is within an academic window where grades can be changed, and that's why he won't be cleared for the 11th-ranked Vols' game against No. 3 Pitt today (TV: ESPN, 3:15 p.m.) at the Consol Energy Center.
"I've got e-mails from all of my teachers saying nothing will be added or subtracted from any of my grades,'' Maymon said. "They (professors) gave me their home numbers and everything if anyone wants to ask.''
Tennessee (6-0) has prepared for today's SEC/Big East Invitational game against the Panthers (10-0) with Maymon at power forward, clearly under the assumption the 6-foot-7, 258-pounder would be eligible if he passed his classes.
Maymon was under the same impression, telling the News Sentinel earlier this week that he was merely waiting for a final class to be posted online.
Nichols said the office of the provost is not allowed to discuss the specific details of the case, but that UT provost Dr. Susan Martin has "chose not to make an exception'' for Maymon, a sophomore who transferred from Marquette last year.
Martin took the position on an interim basis in July of 2008 and was named provost in May of 2009.
"It was shocking and disappointing to hear that, because I've worked hard to pass my classes and get all my ducks in a row,'' said Maymon, Wisconsin's two-time high school player of the year. "All my grades are posted.
"I got up at 6:30 this morning to meet with my (academic) advisor to see what could be done, but apparently someone is dead-set against me playing tomorrow (Saturday).''
Coach Bruce Pearl said Friday morning he was "disappointed,'' and was holding out hope Maymon would be made eligible because in past seasons other transfers had been cleared shortly after finals.
But at the Vols' practice Friday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Pearl was visibly upset when asked about Maymon's situation and refused to comment on it.
"We can talk about the adjustments we'll have to make,'' Pearl said. "Steven Pearl has been practicing at the three for two weeks, Jeronne has been practicing at the four, and now Kenny Hall, who hasn't practiced at the four for a month, will be playing at the four against Pitt.''
Pearl said small forward Renaldo Woolridge, who turned his ankle earlier this week, will not play.
No Degrees: Nichols explained that UT students who have gone through or will go through graduation ceremonies this weekend aren't handed official degrees when they "walk" for the same reason Maymon isn't being declared eligible, citing the fact that grades can be changed through Tuesday.