The Michigan men’s basketball team will be without one of its most exciting players for the majority of its nonconference season. Junior forward Brent Petway has been ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester and will miss all of the Wolverines’ games before Dec. 22.
“I am very disappointed in myself, and I take full responsibility for this situation,” Petway said. “I have let myself, my family, my teammates and this university down. I am working very hard to make sure I get back as soon as I can.”
Petway will miss at least nine nonconference matchups, including home games against Miami (Fla.) and UCLA and road contests versus Notre Dame and Boston University. He will be eligible to return for the last two nonconference home games (Coppin State and Chicago State) before Big Ten play begins against Indiana on Jan. 3.
Both the Big Ten and the NCAA require junior athletes to have at least 40 percent of their degree finished, carry a minimum 1.9 GPA and to have completed at least 51 credit hours in the previous two years. It is undisclosed which of these requirements were not met.
“I’m hoping he’s going to respond in the correct manner, and so far he has,” Amaker told the Ann Arbor News for a story on Saturday. “I’ve always thought of every moment as a teaching moment. Unfortunately, sometimes teaching moments have to come in some adverse situations and circumstances.”
The Georgia native – whose creative slam dunks and high-flying style of play have made him a fan favorite – is coming off a sophomore season where he averaged career-highs in all major statistical categories. He led the team in rebounds per game, averaging 5.4 per contest. His .572 field goal percentage ranked second only to teammate Courtney Sims. He was awarded the Rudy Tomjanovich Most Improved Player Award for the second-consecutive season.
This new development will test Michigan’s depth and experience in the frontcourt. Seniors Graham Brown and Chris Hunter, who both struggled with injuries last season, are expected to see more time at the forward position. Hunter missed eight games due to a high ankle sprain while Brown missed nine games after hernia surgery.
Junior Courtney Sims should also play more as a result of Petway’s ineligibility. Sims will look to better his results from last year, where his numbers showed little improvement from a freshman season in which he started every game.