St. John's Chris Ledlum and Jordan Dingle suing NCAA for denying them 2024-25 eligibility

NEW YORK (AP) — St. John's basketball players Chris Ledlum and Jordan Dingle have filed a lawsuit against the NCAA for denying their request for an eligibility waiver that would give them one more season of competition with the Red Storm or another team.

The lawsuit, filed last Friday in Queens (New York) Supreme Court, contends the NCAA unfairly denied the players their fifth years of eligibility under the COVID-19 waiver granted to athletes whose 2019-20 seasons were disrupted by the pandemic.

Ledlum (Harvard) and Dingle (Penn) transferred to St. John's from Ivy League schools before the 2023-24 season. The NCAA's COVID-19 exemption essentially replaces the 2019-20 season, but Ledlum and Dingle also lost the 2020-21 season because the Ivy League opted to have no sports competition that academic year.

The players allege “inequitable application” of the COVID waiver and that the denial of an exemption for 2024-25 in their cases “cannot withstand analysis under the rule of reason.”

The NCAA did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The lawsuit, filed by White Plains attorney Joseph DiPalma, alleges the NCAA's ruling diminishes the players' opportunities for earning money for their name, image and likeness.

Both players have declared for the NBA draft and have until May 29 to decide if they want to remain in the draft pool. The lawsuit alleges the NCAA's ruling creates an unfair circumstance for the players because if they sign with an NBA team, they would be at a disadvantage against other rookies who have had five years of college competition.

Dingle started 23 of 31 games last season and averaged 11.6 points for the Red Storm. Ledlum started 30 games and averaged 9.5 points and 6.9 rebounds.

The players ask the court for an injunction that would prohibit the NCAA from denying them a fifth year of competition.

“These schools are rapidly filling their basketball team rosters and each day that passes where Mr. Ledlum and Mr. Dingle are unable to either enter the transfer portal or commit to St. Johns for the 2024—2025 Division I Men’s basketball season results in losses to both NIL and professional basketball prospects,” the lawsuit said.


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