Freshman guard Isaac Hamilton lost his appeal to play for UCLA this season, according to the Associated Press. After breaking his letter of intent to play for Tim Floyd at UTEP, the NCAA has decided to make the L.A.-native burn a year of eligibility in Westwood. Hamilton will be allowed to practice with the team, but won't be eligible to suit up until next November.
As the No. 3 shooting guard recruit in his class, Hamilton signed his letter of intent to play for UTEP in November of 2012. Under the guise of being closer to home and to a sick grandmother, Hamilton asked for release from his letter in July of this year. As they are binding, one-year contracts, Floyd had no obligation to release Hamilton from his commitment.
What followed was a firestorm of media, with the coach clearly upset to be losing the future cornerstone of his team. Floyd refused to release him, and Hamilton left anyway. In September, the shooting guard was granted enrollment to UCLA. But the NCAA has cried foul, not giving in to the whimsy of the 19-year-old.
As a definite Pac-12 and potential Final Four contender, No. 22 UCLA will be hamstrung without the five-star recruit. Entering his sophomore season, Jordan Adams will look to replace the production of the departed Shabazz Muhammad and Larry Drew II for Steven Alford and the Bruins this season.