Nov. 7, 2006
Los Angeles - The UCLA Athletic Department has announced that freshman forward Nikola Dragovic (Belgrade, Serbia) has been ruled ineligible to compete in the first 10 regular season games of the 2006-07 season.
The ruling of ineligibility is because Dragovic competed on a team that the NCAA defines as a professional team due to the fact that some of the members of the club team, Mega Ishrana, received compensation.
While Dragovic never received compensation for the 10 games in which he played, an indeterminate number of members of the team did receive money.
Dragovic will be reinstated in time for the Bruins' 11th game of the season, a home contest with the University of Michigan on Dec. 23, 2006.
"Nikola (Dragovic) and his father (Vitomir Dragovic) tried to do everything the right way to keep his amateur status," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. "They were unaware that anyone on the team had accepted money. This is very unfortunate, but we will comply with the NCAA's ruling."
The Bruins open the regular season on Nov. 15 at home against BYU.