Some sad, but expected, news came down the Illinois basketball pipeline on Thursday night.
It was confirmed on Twitter by Bernard Kouma himself that he will not be suiting up for the Illini this season. From what I have deduced from the tweets and with talking to Kouma is that the NCAA didn’t validate some of the classes that he took over in his home country of Chad, in Africa.
Kouma explains more about his situation in a tweet.
“They asked for everything my school back home send it to them but I don’t know why. I come to this Country for a better education and play Basketball. I never never miss school back home and here in this country if I miss school is maybe be basketball trip, I don’t know Why.”
This is some sad news on multiple fronts. From a human perspective, this makes me sad because Kouma just wants to play basketball and get a great education from one of the finest institutions in the country. I never had a chance to attend Illinois, but if I was accepted and signed all of my financial aid and then they pull it back and say that a few classes didn’t transfer over, I would be extremely upset.
I know I am talking here without all of the information. Some of what I am saying might be a bit on the ignorant side. But the NCAA is starting to get a reputation of coming after Illinois and this situation seems to fall in line with that. The most recent case was not letting Luke Ford play this season. Now we have Kouma not getting clearance from the NCAA. I am starting to think they have something against the Orange and Blue.
Looking at this from a basketball perspective; this was expected after the rumblings started a few weeks ago and the fact Illinois just filled scholarship No. 13 a couple of days ago. This left Kouma without a scholarship which indicated that he wasn’t going to be playing for the Illini.
Overall, nothing else really matters beyond Kouma coming to the United States to get a world-class education. I want to see him enrolled in school so he can enjoy what every single one of us has a chance at. The American dream.