Thursday January 29th, 2015

Two Southern Miss basketball players have been declared ineligible and are no longer with the team because of findings from an NCAA investigation, according to

Junior Rasham Suarez and senior Jeremiah Eason, junior college teammates, were recruited to the Golden Eagles out of junior college by coach Donnie Tyndall, who left Southern Mississippi in April 2014 to take over the program at Tennessee.

The NCAA investigation has been examining how tuition and other expenses were paid for some recruits who had signed with Southern Miss during Tyndall's tenure but were not eligible for scholarships.

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According to a report from ESPN, Suarez and Eason were ruled ineligible for academic reasons.

“In accordance with NCAA rules, senior Jeremiah Eason and junior Rasham Suarez are no longer eligible to participate for the Southern Miss men’s basketball team,” Southern Miss said in a statement.

Suarez had averaged 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in 30.4 minutes per game, while Eason earned 2.9 points and 3.6 points in 25 minutes per game. Both have started each of the Golden Eagles' 18 games. Southern Miss is 6-12 overall and 1-6 in Conference USA play.

The removal of Suarez and Eason comes after Adam Howard, an assistant during the period in question who followed Tyndall to Tennessee, resigned for "personal reasons." Three other Southern Miss players are also reportedly under investigation for improper financial aid.

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On Jan. 20, the school announced a self-imposed ban on postseason play this season, calling the move a "necessary...decision based on information gather during the review process..." of information related to the NCAA's investigation.

- Christopher Woody

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