UCLA Reinstates Jelani McCoy to Playing Status

Dec. 22, 1997

LOS ANGELES -- Jelani McCoy, a 6-9 1/2 junior center, has been reinstated to the UCLA men's basketball team, director of athletics Peter T. Dalis announced today. He will be available to play beginning next Monday, December 29. UCLA hosts the University of Illinois on December 30.

McCoy was suspended for violation of athletic department policies and team rules on September 29. He was reinstated for practices on December 1.

"Jelani has worked very hard to earn his reinstatement and has done everything we have asked of him," said head coach Steve Lavin. "He met with (UCLA athletic director) Pete Dalis earlier today and was reinstated. We are happy that he has accomplished the goals we set for him back in September and we are excited to have him back on the team."

McCoy played a key role for last year's team which won a third straight Pacific-10 championship and reached the NCAA Elite Eight, finishing with a 24-8 record. He started 28 of 32 games in 1996-97 and set a Pac-10 record by shooting .756 from the field (he would have led the nation in this category but was eight field goals shy of qualifying for the NCAA stats). He averaged 10.9 points and 6.5 rebounds while blocking 61 shots. As a freshman in 1995-96, he averaged 10.2 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting .676 from the floor and setting a school record with 102 blocked shots. His career shooting percentage of .716 is both a Pac-10 and UCLA record.