East Carolina’s basketball season doesn’t begin until Sunday against Coppin State. But already, 2017-18 has taken an ominous turn for coach Jeff Lebo and his Pirates.
Last week, sophomore guards Jeremy Sheppard and Raquan Wilkins were suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of athletic department policy. Friday, ECU suffered another hit when the NCAA ruled that Virginia Tech transfer Seth LeDay has been ruled ineligible for the coming season.
LeDay, who sat out last season after transferring to Tech from a junior college, will at least be granted a sixth year of eligibility — giving him two more seasons to play for the Pirates. But that won’t help either him or Lebo in what figures to be a make-or-break year for the eighth-year coach.
According to the 247 website Hoist the Colors, ECU is planning to appeal the decision.
“Hopefully they understand that the season is starting, but they have a lot on their plate,” Lebo told Hoist the Colors. “But for the kid’s sake, I hope the appeal committee will look at it and think it through.”
LeDay is a 6-foot-7 forward whose older brother Zach was one of the Hokies’ top players the past two years. Seth hoped to play alongside his brother, but was unable to do so because of an ACC rule that forces players to sit out a year when they played for two different junior colleges in consecutive seasons.
Instead of waiting to play at Tech, he transferred to ECU, which applied for a waiver that would have allowed him to play this season without having to sit out again.