The University of North Carolina suspended freshman guard Jalek Felton from the Tar Heels basketball team Tuesday.
The university did not disclose why the prized freshman recruit was suspended or how long the suspension will last.
“Due to federal privacy laws, that is the extent to which the University can comment,” UNC said in a statement.
It’s important to note that he was suspended by the university, not the team, so he is not eligible to participate in any university activities while under suspension. That, of course, includes basketball games and practices.
Key distinction to note with Jalek Felton is that his suspension originates from the university, and not the team. Neither good, but one reflects greater degree of severity than the other.
— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) January 30, 2018
Felton, from West Columbia, South Carolina, has played in all 22 games this season for the Tar Heels as a backup to point guard Joel Berry II. He is averaging 2.9 points and 1.6 assists per game this season.
Felton is the nephew of former Tar Heel great Raymond Felton, who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 6-foot-2 Jalek Felton came in highly touted, ranked as the No. 1 combo guard in the 2017 recruiting class, according to 247 Sports. Overall, he was the 30th ranked recruit in the Class of 2017.
“He is really gifted, maybe the most gifted player on our team,” UNC coach Roy Williams said of Felton before the season started.
“He is really gifted. If I can get him to be more focused and tougher, I think he has a chance to be a really good player and really help us. He’s got some skills that a lot of other people don’t have,” Williams added, speaking at Media Day.
Felton is averaging just 9.7 minutes per game. In January, Williams discussed why Felton hasn’t gotten more minutes.
“If you can stay in front of the ball defensively and not turn the ball over, you get more of a chance,” the coach said via Inside Carolina. “That’s all it is, because he can do some things, but you’ve got to be able to do that.”
The defending NCAA champs are 16-6 this season, 5-4 in the ACC.
So with Jalek Felton being away, and Woods not playing, Berry has no choice but play the entire game.
— Jarrod (@jhardy575) January 30, 2018
Williams said this week that this is one of the worst, if not the worst, defensive team he has ever coached.
The Tar Heels are still ranked in the top 20 at No. 19, but they’re coming off back-to-back league losses to Virginia Tech and N.C. State.
UNC will look to end the skid Tuesday night at 20th-ranked Clemson — without Felton.
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