Charlotte 49ers' Phil Jones Ruled Academically Ineligible

David ExumContributor IJanuary 11, 2011

Phil Jones has been ruled academically ineligible. (UNCC photo)
Phil Jones has been ruled academically ineligible. (UNCC photo)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte 49ers men's basketball program took another hit as senior center Phil Jones was ruled academically ineligible for the second semester on Monday.

According to a statement released by the school's athletic department, no further details concerning Jones' academic record will be released in accordance to the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act.

"We are very disappointed to receive the news about Phil," said first-year 49ers coach Alan Major in a statement. "We will have to stay together as a team and move forward. Phil will still have the opportunity to finish his degree in May."

Major replaced longtime 49ers coach Bobby Lutz, who was fired at the end of the 2009-10 season after failing to make the NCAA tournament.

The 49ers (8-8 overall, 0-2 in the Atlantic 10) are already reeling after senior Shamari Spears quit the team earlier in the season.

Jones was averaging 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a game. Jones' troubles academically began at the start of this season as he was suspended for the first game of the season against Gardner Webb in November.

The loss of Jones now means the team is down to just eight scholarship players. Sophomore forward Chris Braswell, who is leading the team in rebounds with 6.7, will likely move over to center.

After knocking off nationally ranked Tennessee by one point in December, the 49ers won three straight before losing their last two games. The 49ers take on A-10 rival Fordham at home on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.