Feeling blamed for SMU postseason ban, Keith Frazier leaves team

The player at the center of the NCAA infractions case that led to SMU being ruled ineligible for postseason play this season has left the program.

CORRECTS DAY OF WEEK TO TUESDAY FROM WEDNESDAY - SMU's Keith Frazier drives by Kent State's Kellon Thomas, left, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Las Vegas. Kent State's Chris Ortiz stands nearby. SMU won 90-74. (AP Photo/Ronda Churchill)
CORRECTS DAY OF WEEK TO TUESDAY FROM WEDNESDAY - SMU's Keith Frazier drives by Kent State's Kellon Thomas, left, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Las Vegas. Kent State's Chris Ortiz stands nearby. SMU won 90-74. (AP Photo/Ronda Churchill)

Keith Frazier, a junior from nearby Kimbal High School, chose to leave the team because he felt blamed for the postseason ban and a nine-game suspension imposed this season on head coach Larry Brown, his former high school coach told the Dallas Morning News. SMU is 13-0 and one of two remaining unbeaten teams in Division I basketball.

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"He's been having a hard time dealing with the whole situation," Kimbal High School coach Royce Johnson told the newspaper.. "I just think he hit a boiling point. He's fine on grades. He and Larry didn't get into it. When they came down with the suspension, Keith felt like the city and everybody was pointing their finger at him as the one to blame."

Frazier was ruled academically ineligible in the middle of last season and missed the second half of the year. The NCAA ruled that a secretary had done Frazier's online coursework in the summer of 2013 and Brown was suspended for withholding information from the NCAA and then lying when first questioned about it.

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Frazier is the team's fourth leading scorer averaging 11.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in nearly 29 minutes per game. He has played in 10 games this season, but was recently replaced in the starting lineup by Shake Milton.

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[Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!