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Southern Mississippi : 2 basketball players ineligible

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Southern Mississippi says that two of its men's basketball players have been ruled ineligible as the university continues its joint investigation with the NCAA related to potential violations over the previous two seasons.

The university sent a statement on Thursday saying that Jeremiah Eason and Rasham Suarez are ''no longer eligible to participate.'' The university didn't specify why Eason and Suarez are ineligible.

Southern Miss athletic director Bill McGillis said in the statement he's ''disappointed for these two young men, our new head coach and our basketball program.''

Donnie Tyndall, who is now at Tennessee, was the Southern Miss head coach during the previous two seasons. Tyndall said he had no comment on the Southern Miss issues on Thursday.

ESPN first reported that the two players had been ruled ineligible.

Eason and Suarez were both junior college transfers who come to Southern Miss from the College of Central Florida.

Both had played in all 18 games this season. Suarez, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, was averaging 7.4 points and 3.6 assists per game. Eason, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, was averaging 2.9 points and 3.6 rebounds.

Southern Miss (6-12, 1-6) has struggled all season while dealing with an NCAA investigation into Tyndall's tenure. Tyndall led the Golden Eagles to 56 wins and two trips to the National Invitation Tournament during his two seasons.

The 44-year-old Tyndall has led Tennessee to a 12-7 record this season, including a 4-3 mark in the Southeastern Conference.


AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, contributed to this story.