Charissis NCAA Suspension Reduced From 15 Games To 3

Nov. 1, 2001

USC junior center Kostas Charissis, suspended by the NCAA for 15 games in August for a violation of NCAA amateurism rules, had his penalty reduced to three games after the NCAA Division I Board of Directors sustained a motion to lessen the punishment for all players affected, the NCAA announced on Thursday (Nov. 1).

Before he attended USC, Charissis played on a club team in Greece, which included professional players. Even though he played as an amateur, it was an NCAA violation.

The NCAA Board sustained the Management Council's policy decision made last week that the reinstatement condition would be to withhold a student-athlete from a maximum of 20 percent of the number of professional contests played or eight games, whichever is less.

'It's definitely a relief,' said Charissis. 'I've been thinking about it for two months since it happened. I believe it's more fair than the 15 games. Hopefully I can help my team in the championship game of the Preseason NIT.'

Said USC Coach Henry Bibby: 'I'm really happy to hear it. I think it's justified and fair. To get him back this much earlier will mean he will be ready for the Pac-10 season, which is a huge plus.'

This NCAA action changes the existing policy of the reinstatement subcommittee, which specifies that student-athletes who participated in first-tier-level professional competition in a foreign country would be withheld from one intercollegiate game for each professional game played.

The NCAA made a major effort this summer to check the playing history of foreign men's basketball players, looking for violations of the amateurism rule. In October, the NCAA re-examined the extent of the penalties handed down for the violations of the that rule.

The 6-foot-11, 250-pound Charissis averaged 1.2 points, 1.2 rebounds and 4.7 minutes per game in 18 appearances as a sophomore in 2001 as the Trojans finished 24-10 and reached the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight. As a freshman in 2000, he played in 26 games, averaging 1.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 9.8 minutes per game, starting 13 times in place of injured regulars.

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