Juco transfer from Venezuela will play in 2004-05

TULSA, Okla. -- The NCAA has reinstated Oswaldo Gonzalez, but the Tulsa center will sit out the remainder of the season after being granted just one year of eligibility, the school said Friday.

Gonzalez, a junior college transfer, will instead play the entire 2004-05 season, Tulsa said. He missed the Golden Hurricane's first 13 games while the NCAA determined his status.

Gonzalez, 24, lost the year of eligibility under an NCAA rule that counts participation in organized basketball after the age of 21 and before entering a college as a year of varsity play.

The 6-foot-9 Gonzalez played organized basketball in his native Venezuela after he turned 21 and before enrolling at Jacksonville Community College in Texas, Tulsa said.

"This has been a long and taxing six-month period for Oswaldo, not knowing his status as a collegiate athlete," coach John Phillips said. "But, to his credit, he has come to practice every day with a great attitude and work ethic."

The Golden Hurricane (5-8, 1-3 Western Athletic Conference) recruited Gonzalez to help out inside after post stars Kevin Johnson and Charlie Davis exhausted their eligibility last season.

Tulsa's four other big men are combining for just 21.7 points and 16 rebounds per game this year.