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Teammate: Dee Bost 'not really himself'

 

David Miller

 

STARKVILLE -- Dee Bost''s bid to regain college eligibility has taken longer than anticipated, and the process is wearing on him, according to a teammate. 

 

Coming off his best season as Mississippi State''s starting point guard, Bost has sweated out the NCAA''s review of his appeal to regain eligibility after missing the May 8 deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft.  

 

Three months have passed since MSU filed an appeal on Bost''s behalf, but reports surfaced Monday indicating why the NCAA has failed to render a decision thus far. 

 

ESPN.com''s Andy Katz cited an unnamed source in a story Monday stating the NCAA has asked for phone records and check receipts from Bost to see how he paid for a trip and workouts in Las Vegas. The report, however, didn''t give a timetable for when a decision is expected.  

 

Also Monday, the Starkville Daily News, citing an unnamed source, reported MSU expected the NCAA''s decision this week after recent talks with the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee. 

 

As a resolution draws closer, Bost is starting to show the effects of the stress, teammate Ravern Johnson said Tuesday. 

 

"It''s a painful time for him," Johnson said Tuesday. "He''s really not himself right now. He''s ready to get back. He brings it up every day. He even says that if he gets cleared, he''ll stay ''til his senior year." 

 

Johnson, who withdrew his name from the draft pool before the deadline, said he wasn''t surprised when the 4 p.m. cutoff passed and Bost had apparently turned pro. 

 

"I knew he really wanted to do it and he was working out," Johnson said.  

 

Bost is enrolled in school and going through individual workouts ahead of the first day of fall practice on Oct. 15.  

 

A decision on Bost''s future wasn''t expected to drag on through three months, but Katz''s report of NCAA''s benefits inquiries were forewarned as potentially being part of the reinstatement process.  

 

On the day MSU announced it would file Bost''s appeal, MSU director of compliance Bracky Brett said amateurism violations could create additional issues in the reinstatement process. 

 

"Normally it doesn''t take that long," Brett said, "but we''ve got to get into gathering all the information we would need on the mitigation that he has for us to present. And then also in addition to him missing the deadline, you''ve also got to make sure he didn''t do anything in the whole process to jeopardize his amateur status."  

 

Famed basketball trainer Joe Abunassar, who trained Bost and former teammate Jarvis Varnado for three weeks in Las Vegas, said bills for services were sent to Bost, not MSU.  

 

Bost has maintained he never signed with an agent or worked out for any NBA teams, making who paid the bills for his training sessions with Abunassar vital to the reinstatement process. 

 

"Someone from his family had called us and said that we need to do this right and get the kid back in school," Abunassar told Katz. "It was definitely someone in his family, an uncle or someone, maybe his mom, but we sent it to him. The bill was paid. It was not some weird deal." 

 

Also of note is MSU''s base that it had thoroughly informed Bost of the deadline and when it needed to have a decision whichever way he decided to go. Hence, State''s appeal included that Bost was properly briefed on the new deadline.  

 

NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn declined comment as the case is still pending. 

 

"On average, the NCAA receives more than 2,000 reinstatement cases and waiver requests annually," Osburn said in an email Tuesday. "To ensure we are examining these cases in a manner that is fair to the student-athletes, these requests are prioritized, when necessary, based on the next date of competition that could be impacted by the decision. Also, as you know, many times there are more details regarding these cases than what has been reported in the media."

 

The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.

 

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