Kurtz suspended


POSTED: Thursday, November 12, 2009

More bad news to report from the front line, sir.

Hawaii announced yesterday that transfer center Douglas Kurtz will miss the first six games of the 2009-10 season because of an NCAA penalty. The collegiate governing body decided the 7-foot, 265-pound Brazilian's participation in three games in a league with pro players several years ago in Brazil warranted punitive action.

The loss of Kurtz until the Dec. 6 game vs. Lamar is another blow to a Rainbow Warriors frontcourt still reeling from the indefinite loss of starting power forward Bill Amis to a foot injury.

Kurtz missed two weeks of the team's preseason practices with a bone bruise in his knee. Though the joint is now strong, he'll still be on the sidelines tomorrow when the Rainbows open the season against Southern Utah in the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic.

“;I can't get any kind of good luck right now,”; said Kurtz, who added he didn't get paid for his three brief appearances against a mixed bag of pros and amateurs on the club team when he was 18 or 19. “;The knee stuff ... now I got these six games. It's not something I can choose or not to—I have to. So I just gotta get my mind-set right and practice ... when the opportunity comes the first game, just (be) ready. The knee, I can say, is 100 percent.”;

Kurtz, a junior, volunteered the league information (in which he played before arriving in the United States for college in 2007) when he was cleared as a Division I player out of Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College. The length of his ineligibility is standard for the NCAA's two-for-one system (two college games penalized for every game played with or against pros).

“;We knew some things were happening with that,”; UH coach Bob Nash said. “;We sent in initial appeal information, but it was denied. ... We thought about trying to get more information then appeal, but Douglas wanted to get on with it and put all this behind him, instead of dragging it out and prolonging it.

“;We think that this is the best-case scenario for us,”; the coach said. “;Douglas is OK with it. It gives him a little more time to heal his knee, and get in better shape.”;

Another UH center was prominently suspended for similar reasons. Haim Shimonovich missed 22 games in the 2000-01 season for playing in a pro league in his native Israel. He then helped the Rainbows win the WAC tournament once he became eligible.