Marcus Jordan, son of NBA legend Michael Jordan, won’t be playing basketball his senior season at UCF.
Jordan is going to take classes at the university, but he won’t be playing for the Knights, a source with direct knowledge of the decision told the Orlando Sentinel
While Jordan is exiting the program, UCF got a big boost Saturday night when its best player announced he was sticking with the Knights. Forward Keith Clanton, a strong candidate for preseason Conference USA player of the year, spurned a long list of other schools -- including Kentucky and Florida State -- to play his senior season at UCF.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions hit the men's basketball program with a one-year postseason ban. The school is not appealing the basketball ban, which means UCF seniors are free to transfer and play immediately for other teams eligible for the postseason.
“I think to people's surprise I will be returning to UCF for my Sr. season,” Clanton posted on his Twitter account Saturday night while celebrating his birthday. “I love this team and my dreams and goals can be fulfilled here.”
It had long seemed unlikely Jordan would return to the program.
He opted not to participate in summer workouts with his teammates.
Jordan was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing officers in Omaha, Neb., July 1. He was in the city to watch the Olympic swimming trials.
UCF coach Donnie Jones said he tried reaching Jordan by phone after the NCAA announced the basketball postseason ban, but Jordan had not responded to Jones’ messages within 24 hours.
Jordan was part of some of the biggest wins in school history, including upsets of Florida and Memphis. However, he struggled during the 2011-12 season as he faced more aggressive defensive pressure.
The turning point seemed to be when Jordan lost two close friends on the team.
Jordan’s older brother, Jeff Jordan, and best friend, A.J. Rompza, are no longer with the basketball program and are pursuing their own post-college opportunities. It appeared Rompza would be staying in Orlando and providing moral support for Marcus Jordan, but he is now training to potentially play professional basketball in Europe.
While Rompza said he wished he could extend his UCF playing career, he told the Sentinel in June he understood Jordan might need to walk away early. Jordan has a variety of interests beyond basketball and may pursue business opportunities that would jeopardize his NCAA eligibility.
“Marcus knows I love him to death, and I've just told him to follow his heart,” Rompza said. “He's just got to decide what is the best for him. If you follow your heart, you can't go wrong.”
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