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NCAA Clears Richard Jefferson to Rejoin Basketball Team
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/05/2000
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TUCSON--The NCAA's student-athlete reinstatement staff has ruled in favor of the University of Arizona's appeal for the restoration of forward Richard Jefferson's eligibility following a one-game suspension stemming from a summer incident involving travel benefits.

UA senior associate athletics director Kathleen LaRose said Jefferson has been ordered to pay $281 to a charity of his choice by the end of the season as restitution for receipt of travel provided by the family of his best friend, UA teammate Luke Walton.

"We feel common sense prevailed," LaRose said. "The NCAA has accepted the University's actions in the matter and will add no other sanction," she said.

UA coach Lute Olson said, "I'm happy that we finally are going to have our team intact," referring to Jefferson's case and a previous six-game NCAA suspension levied against UA center Loren Woods in an extra-benefits incident. Each will be able to play in Arizona's game Saturday at Connecticut.

Jefferson, 20, missed Arizona's game last Saturday against St. Mary's after the UA declared him ineligible, but the institution worked for a quick appeal against any further penalty.

"I'm pleased with the results," Jefferson said. The fifth-ranked Wildcats depart Tucson Thursday afternoon for Storrs, Conn., to meet the No. 15-ranked Huskies in Gampel Pavilion at 4 p.m. (EST) Saturday.

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