The basketball mystery is solved. The crisis is avoided. After 10 months of uncertainty and speculation from having one too many players, Indiana is at its 13 scholarship limit.
The cost comes with the loss of freshman shooting guard Ron Patterson. Summer school academic issues have forced a transfer. His options are prep school (Brewster Academy in New Hampshire is an option), junior college or another four-year college.
Finding another four-year school at this late date (IU classes start Monday) could be a challenge given a program would need an available scholarship. Patterson, who met NCAA eligibility standards after graduating from Indianapolis Broad Ripple High School, would likely be eligible at another school immediately.
If Patterson does go to prep school or junior college, and does well academically, he'd still have a chance to join the Hoosiers someday.
A chance, but given the fact IU has a commitment from 2013 shooting guard Stanford Robinson, who is more highly regarded than Patterson, it seems unlikely.
Nobody is talking about that now.
“We think very highly of Ron and will continue to work with him as allowed to help him reach his goals,” coach Tom Crean said in a university release. “He has the chance to do some special things for himself and his family, and we will be supportive of whatever he chooses to do.”
Patterson was ranked as the nation's No. 30 shooting guard and No. 131 player overall in the Class of 2012 by Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service. He averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists as a senior while becoming Broad Ripple's all-time leading scorer. He was an Indiana All-Star.
Patterson was the first member of IU's highly regarded Class of 2012 to commit. That was back in August of 2010. Eventually power forward Hanner Perea, point guard Yogi Ferrell, small forward Jeremy Hollowell and center Peter Jurkin joined him.
Those four remain on the team. Add such returning veterans as national player of the year candidate Cody Zeller along with forwards Christian Watford, Will Sheehey and Derek Elston, and guards Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo, Maurice Creek, Remy Abel and Austin Etherington and you have the makings of a national contender. The Hoosiers are considered a preseason No. 1 team by numerous publications.
Still, there was uncertainty given Crean had signed 14 players and NCAA rules allow only 13. Speculation about how IU would resolve the situation intensified over the summer after Zeller and Watford passed on entering the NBA draft, and no returning player transferred or became academically ineligible.
IU officials would only say the situation would resolve itself.
And so it has.
As for Patterson, all things are still possible. Sometimes life throws you curves. Sometimes lessons are best learned through adversity.
The transition to manhood, and the responsibility and accountability that come with it, isn't always easy. That's how it should be. It makes you appreciate the successes when they come.
And they can come for Patterson.
College isn't for everybody. Not everybody takes advantage of academic support. We do know IU's academic support resources are as good as any in the country. Crean has made academics a huge priority and that is reflected in strong team GPAs in recent years and a perfect Academic Progress Report score of 1,000 for two straight years.
Patterson was admitted to IU as part of a faculty sponsorship program with the stipulation he was to maintain a designated grade point average for his summer classes. That didn't happen. His appeal to a faculty advisory committee was denied on Wednesday.
Like basketball, academic success centers on effort, consistency and doing what needs to be done.
Here's hoping Patterson gets it done.