UCLA's heralded recruiting class has taken a significant hit after incoming freshman Jonah Bolden has been deemed ineligible by the NCAA to play this season, the school announced Friday.
"The NCAA has ruled that UCLA freshman Jonah Bolden is a partial qualifier, and as such, will not be able to compete for the men's basketball team this season," UCLA said. "The ruling allows for Bolden to continue on athletic scholarship."
Sources told ESPN that Bolden is likely to be cleared to practice this season, but as of now he is not allowed to practice with the Bruins.
According to sources, the issue stems from Bolden leaving Australia after his senior season had already begun to attend Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. Bolden left Findlay in December and finished at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
The 6-foot-9 power forward is a native of Australia who was ranked in the Top 100 by ESPN.com.
UCLA coach Steve Alford and his staff put together a top-10 recruiting class this season that included three heralded players: Milwaukee power forward Kevon Looney (ESPN, No. 12), in-state big man Thomas Welsh (ESPN, No. 36) and skilled wing Bolden (ESPN, No. 84).
The Bruins could have used Bolden for his length and ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. UCLA, which finished 28-9 last season, lost three of its top four scorers early to the NBA after last season: Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine. The Bruins also lost seniors David and Travis Wear.
Alford returns guards Norman Powell and Bryce Alford, along with reserve big man Tony Parker. Former UTEP signee Isaac Hamilton, who sat out last season, is also eligible and should make an immediate impact.