Canisius basketball player ruled ineligible

Canisius freshman Jose Agosto, who signed a National Letter of Intent last April to join the men’s basketball team, has left the school permanently after being ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA.

Canisius was informed earlier this week that Agosto did not meet requirements the NCAA demands all student-athletes meet, which are different from the requirements needed for acceptance into the college. Though players are frequently ruled ineligible because their test scores (SAT, ACT) were too low, head coach Tom Parrotta said Agosto’s problem was with “core classes,” not test scores.

After being declared as a non-qualifier by the NCAA, Agosto was not able to receive his athletic scholarship. Faced with a full Canisius tuition bill, Agosto and his family decided it was in their best interest to leave the school.

“It’s one of those things that’s happened, and you deal with it and move on,” Parrotta said. “I would probably think about it differently if it was something in our control, but it’s just one of those NCAA things. They give us a final answer and we take it.

“A lot of times it’s out of your control. The NCAA rules on something, you say okay. What are you going to do?”

Parrotta said Agosto will probably play at a junior college and he doesn’t think there is any chance Agosto comes back to Canisius.

After falling into the NCAA’s three-week window for Clearing House review, Agosto was not allowed to participate in any team activity, even weight lifting. Parrotta and associate head coach Rob Norris were becoming worried for his development.

“It’s really, really put him in a position where he was falling further and further behind. He was probably a good redshirt candidate based on the people that we have here and based how the other kids have looked, the newcomers,” Parrotta said. “He was the normal freshman anyway, trying to get accustomed to things. So he just fell way, way, way behind.”

Agosto is originally from Puerto Rico and finished his high school in Tennessee. He has an aunt in Pennsylvania who drove to Buffalo to pick him up earlier this week, Parrotta said. Agosto declined an interview request Thursday.

The men’s basketball team will now have an extra scholarship it can use next season. Marial Dhal is the only senior who will graduate after this year, with Isaac Sosa forced to sit out this season after transferring from Central Florida.