Terps' McCray out for season for academic reasons

Maryland senior Chris McCray, the team's leading scorer, is the latest player to lose his eligibility to a three-year-old rule that a player maintain his eligibility from fall semester to the spring.

In the first year of the rule, UConn freshman point guard Marcus Williams missed the second semester for the same rule. Last season, Texas sophomore forward P.J. Tucker suffered the same fate. And last week, Wisconsin freshman Marcus Landry was declared ineligible because of the rule. Players are allowed to practice during their ineligible semester. There are different aspects to this rule, such as maintaining a 2.0 grade-point average and passing a minimum of six credit hours in the fall semester. Sources say McCray fell below the six-credit hour rule.

The problem for McCray is this: He's a senior so he's done.

When asked last week if this was going to occur, Maryland head coach Gary Williams told ESPN.com no comment. It's unclear if there was some hope that McCray could win an appeal. But that isn't the case as the school released a statement saying he was done for the season. McCray was averaging 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2. steals a game for the Terps.

McCray's last game was Saturday in a win over Virginia Tech. He'll miss his first game against Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

"I'd first like to apologize to my family, teammates and coaches for not meeting NCAA standards, but I'll continue to pursue my criminal justice degree," said McCray in a school release. "I'll learn from this experience and look forward to becoming very productive in life and as a student here at Maryland."

Williams added in the same release:

"Chris' career was outstanding here at the University of Maryland. He has contributed a great deal to our success the last 3 years. I'm fully confident Chris will be successful in life."

McCray was considered the top defender for the Terps (13-4, 3-2 ACC). Mike Jones will likely replace McCray in the starting lineup.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.