St. John’s fans understand how important junior guard Rasheem Dunn is to their team’s success and they have responded to what they feel is an unjust ruling by voicing their support on social media.
Since The Post reported Sunday morning that the NCAA had denied the Cleveland State transfer guard’s waiver to be eligible immediately, which in turn would cost him a year of eligibility and force him to sit out a second straight year, Johnnies fans have taken to Twitter and Instagram with the “FreeRahDunn” hashtag that senior Mustapha Heron started to implore the NCAA to rethink its stance. An online petition at Change.org also has gained over 1,900 signatures as of late afternoon Monday.
St. John’s was counting on Dunn to be a factor this season, after losing starters Shamorie Ponds, Justin Simon and Marvin Clark II. The Brooklyn native sat out all of last year at Cleveland State after transferring from St. Francis Brooklyn. But when his coach, Dennis Felton, was fired and several teammates transferred, Dunn opted to return home. He averaged 15 points per game two years ago and may have been St. John’s starting point guard.
Cleveland State athletic director Scott Garrett, who was hired in April and fired Felton, did not support Dunn’s waiver, according to sources, and the NCAA ruled Dunn could’ve stayed at Cleveland State. The school has not responded to requests for comment, and neither has Felton. St. John’s has also declined comment.
Meanwhile, Dunn and St. John’s are still working with the NCAA on the waiver request, according to sources, and feel he has a strong case to eventually get it approved. Forward Ian Steere also had his waiver denied, but he would be eligible to return in mid-December, once the fall semester ends, since he transferred in from N.C. State mid-year.
St. John’s opens its season on Nov. 6 against Mercer. At the moment, it has only nine eligible scholarship players.
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