University of Kansas

KU’s Cheick Diallo allowed to practice, still waiting on word from NCAA Eligibility Center

Cheick Diallo.
Cheick Diallo. Joseph D. Sullivan

The decision will likely have no bearing on his final status, but for the moment, Cheick Diallo has received welcome news from the NCAA: He can practice with the Kansas team while he awaits a ruling from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Kansas coach Bill Self received word from the NCAA earlier this week, he confirmed to The Star on Thursday morning.

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 freshman forward, was previously sidelined from team activities while the NCAA mulled his academic eligibility. The NCAA’s decision to allow Diallo to practice is perhaps more procedural than a positive sign. Previously, Diallo was effectively kept in limbo while the NCAA looked into his case, which stems from three-plus years he spent at Our Savior New American, a private school in Centereach, N.Y.

KU freshman big man Cheick Diallo, a native of Mali, discusses his basketball roots.

Self said this week that Kansas was preparing for all scenarios when it came to Diallo, a McDonald’s All-American who is expected to compete for a starting spot in the paint this season. But if the final decision stretches into late October or early November, Diallo will at least be able to prepare for the season.

The Jayhawks, who officially open practice on Friday, begin the exhibition season against Pittsburg State on Nov. 4 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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