STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State spokesman says Kristers Zeidaks has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the entire upcoming season and the first 11 games of the 2012-13 season.
MSU's Gregg Ellis made the announcement Thursday.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Zeidaks played with and against professional players in his home country of Latvia. He averaged 13.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in the Under-20 European Championships last year.
Zeidaks' lengthy suspension surprised Mississippi State officials, who didn't expect such a harsh ruling. The suspension is two games longer than the one given current MSU forward Renardo Sidney, who sat out the 2009-10 season and the first nine games of the 2010-11 season after the NCAA ruled he received improper benefits.
MSU opens on Nov. 7 at home against Eastern Kentucky.