clear
Wednesday August 23rd, 2017 2:21AM

Pitt releases Johnson to play at UNC as graduate transfer

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Pittsburgh has released guard Cameron Johnson to play immediately at North Carolina as a graduate transfer.

Johnson's father, former Pitt player Gil Johnson, said the school notified the family Thursday that it has removed any restrictions for his son to play next year for the reigning national Tar Heels. Pittsburgh had cited an internal policy in trying to require the 6-foot-8 Johnson to sit out a year if he went to another Atlantic Coast Conference school instead of playing right away with two seasons of eligibility.

"It's been a frustrating couple of months," Gil Johnson told The Associated Press on Thursday afternoon. "But I'm a true believer in generally people end up doing the right things more times than not, especially by a young man who has given the university everything he could over the past three years. So I was prayerful that Pitt would do the right thing and allow him to pursue his dreams."

Pitt issued a statement confirming Johnson's release and wishing him "the very best as he pursues his graduate degree."

"We're Pitt Panthers, no hard feelings at all," said Gil Johnson, who played for Pitt from 1988-90. "We understand that they had an obligation and a duty to the university. And we have an obligation and a duty to the university — but to our son as well."

Cameron Johnson graduated in three years, including a medical redshirt season in 2014-15, and will provide the Tar Heels with perimeter scoring to help replace departed AP All-American Justin Jackson. Johnson — whose hometown is Moon Township, Pennsylvania — averaged 11.9 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting nearly 42 percent on 3-pointers last season.

NCAA rules allow transfers who have earned their degrees to play immediately. However, schools and conferences can have their own policies for granting a release from a year-to-year scholarship agreement. In this case, Pitt had cited its own policy regarding immediate eligibility for transfers within the conference or to a team on the next year's schedule.

Johnson issued a public statement Tuesday saying he should be immediately eligible to play in Chapel Hill and that Pitt was wrong to block him.

He said he appealed the school's position during a May 2 hearing and was soon granted permission to "immediately receive" a scholarship at another ACC school, though he was also told he must sit out and "serve a year of residence" due to NCAA rules.

But Johnson said the NCAA had determined that the residence requirement doesn't apply to graduate transfers. Rather, the NCAA said the bylaw requires athletes to be either immediately eligible or "totally denied" from attending a school.

In its statement, the school cited that rule interpretation as a reason to "take a less restrictive approach" and grant Johnson's release.

"We were proud to have Cameron as a student-athlete and are now proud to have him as a graduate of our institution," the statement reads. "We wish him the very best as he pursues his graduate degree."

___

AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.

___

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

___

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Cubs' Addison Russell calls wife abuse allegation 'false'
Major League Baseball is looking into a domestic violence accusation against Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell
7:31PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Colorado marijuana market funds busts of illegal growers
The first recreational U.S. pot market has notched another marijuana first after Colorado approved using some marijuana tax revenues to fund police efforts to crack down on illegal growing operations
7:11PM ( 24 minutes ago )
30-day deportation reprieve for Hawaii coffee farmer
A Hawaii coffee farmer has 30 days to remain in the United States after being ordered to report to immigration officials for deportation back to Mexico
7:08PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
US Open at a new place and looking for fresh start
US OPEN '17: Dustin Johnson tries to go back-to-back as US Open heads to new course in Wisconsin
6:43PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Angels pull away and pound Tigers 11-4 and win series
Albert Pujols hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly to cap a four-run fifth inning and the Los Angeles Angels added six runs in the seventh, routing the Detroit Tigers 11-4
6:40PM ( 55 minutes ago )
No questioning Durant's decision now as Warriors near title
Kevin Durant joined the Warriors to have fun, now on the verge of having the time of his basketball life
6:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Cosby told police his accuser didn't rebuff his advances
The jury at Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial has listened to a 2005 police statement in which the comedian admitted fondling Andrea Constand after giving her some pills
3:37PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Cosby attorneys seize on Valentine's Day calls
Bill Cosby's lawyers are seizing on a pair of phone calls his chief accuser made to him on Valentine's Day, just weeks after she says he drugged and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia home
3:33PM ( 4 hours ago )
LeBron not faulting Warriors for building super team
Unfair fight? LeBron says he doesn't have problem with Warriors building super team
3:32PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Lincoln Riley, 33, takes over as Oklahoma's football coach
Lincoln Riley, 33, takes over as Oklahoma's football coach after Bob Stoops retired after 18 seasons
12:09PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Durant, Warriors rally to beat Cavs 118-113
Kevin Durant made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 45 seconds left and the Golden State Warriors took a 3-0 in the NBA Finals by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-113
11:52PM ( 19 hours ago )
The Latest: James, Irving leading the way, Cavs lead 108-107
LeBron James is two rebounds and two assists shy of his ninth career NBA Finals triple-double
11:33PM ( 20 hours ago )
College Sports
Pittsburgh, graduate transfer at odds over move to UNC
Former Pittsburgh guard Cameron Johnson is fighting the school to allow him to play immediately at North Carolina as a graduate transfer next season
2:10AM ( 1 day ago )
'A long, strange trip': Thad Matta out as Ohio State coach
Team losing, recruits leaving, back ailing: Thad Matta out as Ohio State coach after 13 seasons
4:48PM ( 3 days ago )
Thad Matta out as basketball coach at Ohio State
Thad Matta out as coach of Ohio State after 17-15 finish after 13th season
2:48PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Cubs' Addison Russell calls wife abuse allegation 'false'
Major League Baseball is looking into a domestic violence accusation against Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell
7:31PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Colorado marijuana market funds busts of illegal growers
The first recreational U.S. pot market has notched another marijuana first after Colorado approved using some marijuana tax revenues to fund police efforts to crack down on illegal growing operations
7:11PM ( 24 minutes ago )
30-day deportation reprieve for Hawaii coffee farmer
A Hawaii coffee farmer has 30 days to remain in the United States after being ordered to report to immigration officials for deportation back to Mexico
7:08PM ( 27 minutes ago )
UK exit poll: Conservatives may fall short of majority
An exit poll has projected that Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party will win the biggest share of seats in Britain's election but could fall short of a majority in Parliament
7:02PM ( 33 minutes ago )
FDA asks drugmaker to stop selling its opioid painkiller
Federal regulators want a narcotic painkiller involved in the U.S. opioid epidemic off the market over concerns of abuse
7:00PM ( 35 minutes ago )