University of Central Florida guards Marcus Jordan and Jeff Jordan, the sons of Michael Jordan, were among five players held out of Saturday's exhibition game. Junior Marcus Jordan, the team's leading scorer, was suspended with two other players for violations of team rules, according to the school. The school also reported that senior Jeff Jordan and starting point guard A.J. Rompza were withheld pending resolution of NCAA eligibility matters.
"(The suspended players) will continue to practice each day and we'll get better as a team," coach Donnie Jones told the team's website.
The preseason has come in stark contrast to the hot start at the beginning of last season that landed the Knights a spot in the national rankings. But since then, they struggled to a 6-10 record in Conference USA and also were hit with an official notice of inquiry by the NCAA in August regarding potential recruiting violations committed by the football and men's basketball programs. Top recruit Michael Chandler also failed to qualify to become a member of this year's team.
The latest batch of bad news for UCF involves the team's high-profile players both in name and in on-court production. Marcus Jordan, who is trying to make his own name, averaged 15.2 points and led the team in assists as a sophomore. Rompza and P.J. Gaynor, one of the players suspended for team rules violations, were key contributors. Jeff Jordan is eligible this season after transferring from Illinois, as is Oregon transfer Josh Crittle, who was suspended for team rules violations.
It's the eligibility concerns of Jeff Jordan and Rompza that are most intriguing at a time when UCF is already in the process of defending itself in the NCAA case. It was already going to be tough going up against Memphis in Conference USA. If more hurdles emerge, things could get difficult for UCF.