Nolen ineligible for spring semester

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Golden Gophers point guard Al Nolen's appeal to the NCAA for reinstatement has been denied.

The university announced the news Tuesday. Nolen was ruled academically ineligible two weeks ago for the rest of the semester.

He appealed to a special NCAA committee, but the decision means Nolen can't play for the rest of the season.

The junior can still practice with the team, but is not allowed to travel with the Gophers while ineligible, the school said.

Devoe Joseph has replaced Nolen as the starting point guard and played well, but the Gophers clearly miss Nolen's steadiness. He leads the team in assists and steals per game.

Minnesota's next game is Saturday at Penn State.