Share This Page

NCAA rules Mason eligible for Duquesne basketball

| Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 11:24 a.m.
Getty Images
Highlands graduate Micah Mason spent one season at Drake before transferring to Duquesne.

The NCAA approved a hardship waiver for Duquesne sophomore Micah Mason on Thursday, making the Highlands graduate eligible to play basketball this season for the Dukes.

A health condition that requires a gluten-restricted diet led Mason to transfer closer to home after one season at Drake. Without the waiver, Mason would have sat out this season.

“I was very excited to hear that I was eligible,” said Mason, who expects more than two dozen relatives and friends in the Palumbo Center crowd for Saturday afternoon's season opener against Abilene Christian. “I'm very thankful for this opportunity.”

The 6-foot-2 guard played in 30 games as a freshman, averaging 5.4 points and 2.2 assists in 15.6 minutes per game. He started 11 times and led the Missouri Valley Conference in 3-point shooting percentage (50.6 percent).

In high school, Mason was the WPIAL's all-time leader in 3-pointers made (346). His 2,272 career points rank 12th in WPIAL history.

“It makes our team better, it makes us deeper,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. “I think the kid is one of the best 3-point shooters in the country, so we're excited about that. But in the overall picture, it's truly exciting for the kid.”

Mason, who has practiced with the team, waited months for this decision.

“It was on my mind for the last three months,” Mason said. “I'm happy to just focus on basketball and the start of the season.”

Mason has a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in some grains. Consuming foods that contain gluten can cause Mason to suffers heart palpitations and fatigue, he said. As a result, his mother moved to Des Moines, Iowa, last year to prepare his meals.

“(Drake) promised me that they could cook all the meals for me, but that didn't work out,” said Mason, whose symptoms started in high school. “That's one of the main reasons I'm back here at Duquesne.”

After seeing other hardship waivers approved this year by the NCAA, Ferry believed Mason's request was clear-cut.

“I thought the NCAA saw it right,” Ferry said. “When you talk about student-athlete welfare and hardships on families, I thought that's exactly what this was.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.