Ron Patterson departs, leaving Indiana with 13 on scholarship
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent August 15, 2012 5:12PM
Updated: September 17, 2012 1:04PM
Indiana had until Monday, when fall semester classes begin, to resolve its basketball scholarship conundrum: 14 players on scholarship when the NCAA only allows 13.
The resolution came Wednesday, when incoming freshman Ron Patterson was reportedly ruled academically ineligible.
Patterson, who coined the phrase “The Movement” to describe the Hoosiers’ incoming freshman class, will instead transfer.
An Indiana spokesman, when asked Wednesday afternoon before word of Patterson’s departure broke, said the scholarship situation would have to be resolved by the time classes began Monday.
A few hours later, news broke that Patterson had not met academic standards during summer school. The spokesman could not confirm the reason for Patterson’s departure.
“We think very highly of Ron and will continue to work with him as allowed to help him reach his goals,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said in a statement released by the school. “He has the chance to do some special things for himself and his family and we will be supportive of whatever he chooses to do.”
Patterson’s defensive prowess at guard was expected to be a factor for the Hoosiers this season. The Indianapolis Broad Ripple grad was considered one of the best defensive wings in the 2012 class.
He and fellow incoming freshmen Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Peter Jurkin and Hanner Mosquera-Perea were one of the top recruiting classes in the country and a major acquisition for Crean, whose IU tenure began with three straight losing seasons before last season’s breakthrough run to the NCAA’s Sweet 16.
Despite the strides made by then-junior Christian Watford and Big Ten co-Freshman of the Year Cody Zeller, neither opted for early entry to the NBA, instead choosing to return for a shot at a national championship.
That presented a problem for Crean and his staff: 14 players on scholarship for the coming season, one over the NCAA-mandated maximum.
Speculation swirled for months. Would one of the freshmen consider prep school? Would one of the returning players choose to pay their own way?
The speculation came to an end Wednesday.
Patterson’s departure — reports indicate he will either go to prep school or try to transfer to another four-year college — leaves the Hoosiers with 13 players on scholarship: the rest of the incoming freshmen; Watford; Zeller; seniors Jordan Hulls, Derek Elston and Maurice Creek; juniors Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey; and sophomores Remy Abell and Austin Etherington.