Batista Cleared To Play Tonight

Nov. 24, 2004

SPOKANE, Wash. - The NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee on Wednesday granted Gonzaga University junior forward J.P. Batista clearance to play in tonight's men's basketball game against the University of Idaho.

The NCAA had ruled last Friday that Batista would have to sit out three games as a result of junior college issues. Although Batista sat out games Friday and Sunday, Gonzaga officials appealed the ruling Monday morning. The committee issued its decision Wednesday just hours prior to the 8 p.m. tipoff with Idaho.

"More than anything, we are thrilled with this decision for J.P.'s sake. We know it's been a difficult time for him, and he's been chomping at the bit to get into a game. We're glad he'll get that chance one game sooner than originally thought," Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said.

Batista transferred to Gonzaga from Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kans. He played his freshman season at Western Nebraska Community College.

Roth reiterated that "J.P. being withheld from games has nothing to do with his grades, academic standing or his recruitment by Gonzaga."



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