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NJCAA to investigate Hofstra hoopster Kelleher

The National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association will investigate whether eligibility rules were violated during the junior college career of Hofstra basketball player Brad Kelleher. The junior transfer from Midland (Texas) JC was ruled ineligible at Hofstra this season after the NCAA determined the guard signed a pro contract in his native Australia.

Kelleher has acknowledged to Hofstra that he was on the roster for the Brisbane Bullets of the National Basketball League in 2005. He also admitted signing what he thought was a player information form.

Acting on the NCAA's finding, the NJCAA could take action against Kelleher's former college team, Midland JC in Midland.

"Any student that has participated in professional basketball would have no eligibility within the NJCAA in accordance with our bylaws," Brian D. Beck, the director of compliance for the NJCAA, wrote in an e-mail Monday. ". . . Sanctions could be anything from a reprimand to probation based on the specifics of the case . . . It will be addressed with the school [Midland]."

Ron Jones, the director of compliance at Midland, said he was unaware that Kelleher played for any team other than in high school before his arrival at Midland in 2007. Then-basketball coach Grant McCasland said he knew Kelleher had played on a team in Australia but did not know it had professional ties. "He told me he didn't sign a contract, didn't take any money and anything that he got was just for expenses," McCasland said.

A spokesman for Hofstra said the university would have no comment on Kelleher's situation until the NCAA makes a final ruling concerning the player's eligibility for the 2010-11 season.

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