So Emmanuel Mudiay, a consensus top-five national recruit, has decided, in the month of July before his freshman year at SMU, to skip college and move to either Europe or Asia to play professionally even though the only other American point guard who has ever tried that right out of high school struggled severely and hated almost every minute of it. And, according to Mudiay, this decision has nothing to do with amateurism issues? With all due respect, I'm not buying it. And neither should you. Because, according to multiple sources, the truth is that there were growing concerns, real or imagined, that the projected lottery pick might have a difficult time getting through the NCAA Eligibility Center. In other words, there was a very real possibility that Mudiay would become the next Josh Selby or Shabazz Muhammed, i.e., an elite recruit found guilty of taking improper benefits to the point where a suspension would be possible, if not likely. And that, more than anything else, was the motivating factor behind Mudiay's decision to become just the second elite guard to ever attempt this jump. The other, of course, was Brandon Jennings. He skipped college for Europe in 2008 ... also amid eligibility concerns. Which means not a single top-10 prospect has ever graduated, signed with a college program and then decided to bounce overseas rather than enroll unless that prospect was facing eligibility concerns. Like, it's literally never happened. And it still hasn't happened even if Mudiay's camp suggested he's just trying to take care of his mother financially.
Concerns over immediate eligibility lead to SMU losing Emmanuel Mudiay
CBS Sports | Jul 15