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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, December 27, 2003

Lewis used ineligible volleyball player

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer


Lewis University, the 2003 NCAA men's volleyball champion, has notified the NCAA that it used an ineligible player last season.

Lewis coach Dave Deuser said his school conducted an investigation into the player's eligibility after receiving an anonymous complaint. Lewis' report was sent to the NCAA this week.

Deuser said "it is way too early" to speculate on sanctions.

But Hawai'i, the 2002 NCAA champion, was stripped of its national title after it was determined that two-time national Player of the Year Costas Theocharidis was a member of a professional team in Greece before enrolling at UH in August 1999. UH has appealed the punishment, and a decision is expected soon. Theocharidis earned a bachelor's degree last Sunday.

"I know my team and myself personally were very heart-broken with what happened to Hawai'i," Deuser said.

Now Lewis is drawing sympathy following the internal investigation. Deuser said based on the available information, the player should have been ineligible to play last season.

Deuser said privacy rules prohibit the school from publicly identifying the accused player. Deuser said the player is ineligible to play this coming season.

"It could still come out well for us," he said. "We're not 100 percent sure the information we have (against the player) is accurate. We'll see what happens."

Lewis is a Division II school that competes as a Division I men's volleyball team. The Flyers are competing in the UH-hosted Outrigger Invitational beginning Jan. 8 in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8051.