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San Jose St. Will Honor Scholarships of 10 Boycotting Basketball Players

San Jose State will continue to honor the scholarships of the 10 basketball players who are boycotting the team, Athletic Director Randy Hoffman said Monday.

“I felt a sense of commitment to these men, and we wanted to fulfill that commitment from our end,” Hoffman said. “Secondly, some of them . . . aren’t in the greatest financial shape, and I didn’t want to do anything that might impact their ability to complete their college educations.”

The threat of a lawsuit by the players was not a factor in the decision, Hoffman said.

“Under (National Collegiate Athletic Assn.) rules it was clearly our prerogative,” Hoffman said.

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NCAA rules provide that if a player leaves the team voluntarily, aid may be withdrawn at the end of the current semester. San Jose State’s spring semester begins Thursday.

The players walked out on Coach Bill Berry last week, accusing him of verbal abuse and vowing not to play again until he is fired or resigns. The school repeatedly has backed Berry, and last Thursday it fielded a team that included the four remaining players, four football players, a team manager and three other walk-ons for a game won by Cal State Fullerton, 82-60.

None of the boycotting players has sought to return to the team, Hoffman said .

“I think (Berry) is still holding out hope, as well as myself, that some players might reconsider,” Hoffman said. “But there’s going to be a time frame where we have to make a final decision.”

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