Setty launches ‘#FreeTregSetty’ campaign, garners national attention

Athletic Department denies release until end of semester, academics play a part

Treg Setty wants to leave SIU and go back home, but those in the Athletic Department say Setty won’t be granted a release until he finishes the semester with good grades.

Athletic Director Mario Moccia said the issue with Setty’s and Dantiel Daniels’ releases involves academics and a change to the way the Academic Progress Rate works, with stiffer penalties for programs with student-athletes that have a grade point average lower than 2.6.

“It’s just a mess. All I want to do is go to a school closer to my family,” Setty said on Facebook. “That’s it. Nothing else.”

According to Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports, Setty’s GPA is currently 2.5, and the Athletic Department wants to make sure his GPA is 2.6 before it grants him a release from his scholarship so the men’s basketball program won’t face penalties. Daniels faces a similar situation with his grades, as he has a 2.4 GPA, according to Goodman.

After several players left SIU during the tenure of former coach Chris Lowery, Moccia said the Athletic Department is nervous about possible sanctions from the NCAA. Moccia said he couldn’t comment on past transfers’ academic status when they left the program.

“We take (possible penalties) very seriously due to our previous coaching staff’s failure to keep players on our roster,” Moccia said. “We are paying for the sins of our past.”

Moccia said Setty met with the NCAA appeals committee Thursday, but he has not heard the results of the meeting. Moccia said he didn’t know if Daniels appealed the denial because he has heard conflicting reports from several people.

Daniels declined to comment about the situation.

Setty gained attention from national sports media, with Goodman and ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb showing support for the freshman over Twitter. Setty started the #FreeTregSetty hashtag on Twitter to gain more support for his release.

Compliance Coordinator Dan Rohrer said Setty and Daniels could still talk to and receive scholarship offers from other schools without an official release; they just need to ask permission from the Athletic Department before they make any contact with a player on scholarship.

Setty said the Athletic Department has not allowed him to talk to other coaches.

The controversy surrounds an NCAA rule that allows players to transfer with a 2.0 GPA, but they can’t leave with a GPA lower than 2.6 without the school receiving penalties from the NCAA. Depending on the offense’s seriousness, men’s basketball could face a possible postseason ban and loss of scholarships if the team’s academics aren’t up to par.

“(The NCAA) choose the 2.6 grade point average because of data that shows that is usually the line between graduating at another institution and not,” Moccia said. “That was not arbitrarily selected, that selected with a lot of facts behind it, so I do not have any disagreements with their policies whatsoever.”

Media Services Director Tom Weber said coach Barry Hinson will defer all comments about the situation to Moccia.

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