Recruit Ineligible for Aztecs : Fresno's Barefield, Point Guard Prospect, Falls Short on SAT

Times Staff Writer

Ray Barefield, one of San Diego State's top basketball recruits, said Thursday he has failed to meet NCAA freshman academic eligibility requirements and will have to sit out his freshman season.

Barefield, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound point guard from Hoover High School in Fresno, said he fell 10 points short of achieving the required minimum score of 700 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test. Barefield will not be permitted to play or practice with the Aztecs as a freshman and will lose one of his four years of athletic eligibility.

"It really hurts to have come so close and missed," Barefield said from his home in Fresno. "I really thought I was going to make it."

Barefield said he has discussed the situation with Coach Jim Brandenburg, and the two have agreed that he will enroll at SDSU on scholarship for his freshman year and wait to become eligible for the 1990-91 season.

"I want to come to school and get a good start academically," Barefield said. "I know it will be hard to sit and not play, but I will make the best of it."

Barefield averaged 19 points and 6.5 rebounds as a senior at Hoover and scored a career-high 32 points against Fresno McLean High School.

Brandenburg was effusive in his praise of Barefield when he signed him to a letter of intent during the early signing period in November. He expected Barefield would immediately contend for playing time at point guard.

The position could be open for the Aztecs. Bryan Williams, a two-year starter until he was suspended late last season for disciplinary reasons, was a senior. His replacement, Michael Best, was removed from the team for medical reasons in the final week of the regular season, and the university has not made an announcement concerning his status for next season.

It is the second consecutive year the Aztecs have had a leading freshman recruit become ineligible because of his failure to meet the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. eligibility requirements commonly referred to as Proposition 48.

Last year, Kevin Rembert, a 6-5 swingman from Santa Ana Mater Dei, did not meet the requirement and instead enrolled at Arizona Western College in Yuma.

Brandenburg, who could not be reached for comment on Barefield's status, said last week that his two other freshman recruits--Courtie Miller of Torrey Pines High School and Terrence Hamilton of Patrick Henry High School--previously met the Proposition 48 requirements.

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