An aspiring Irish basketball star has had his US college dream shattered because he finished his secondary education at home in Ireland.
Travis Black was striving for success at the Spartanburg Christian Academy and Spartanburg Methodist College after moving to the States at 17.
Now website TheJournal.ie reports that he has been rendered unable to continue his career in the sport after the National Collegiate Athletic Association deemed him ineligible.
The Pioneers point guard helped his college team to a 64-8 record over two seasons in a period that also encompassed a number one national ranking.
But he has now been disqualified from competing by the NCAA because he graduated from school in Ireland before going on to attend Spartanburg Christian.
The website says that after his appeal was turned down, the Irish star told reporters: “My dream has been crushed. I have to figure out what I’m going to do.
“Right after I signed, I started doing paperwork. I did paperwork from April until October. I mean serious paperwork. I had to account for every game I participated in since I’ve been in America, exact dates and all that stuff.
“I sent them transcripts from every school. But they were disorganised. They said they kept losing my stuff. I had to resend everything.”
Paul Harrison, the coach who recruited Black, added: “As good a player as he is, he’s a better person. Guys like Travis Black are ones you want to build programmes around. He makes everybody better and wants them all to do well.
“The fact of the matter is he did nothing wrong. I don’t think anybody did anything wrong. Spartanburg Christian did it the way it’s supposed to be done.
“They gave him placement tests that any transfer student would be given and determined he was a junior, based on his academic background. SMC didn’t do anything wrong, either. It’s just a shame.”
The report concludes that the college can now no longer afford to keep Black on a scholarship at Clayton State.
Black is now looking at half-scholarships in soccer and athletics and hopes to become a basketball coach some day.