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Kansas suspends PG Tharpe for opener

The SportsXchange

Kansas will begin the season without junior point guard Naadir Tharpe.

Coach Bill Self suspended Tharpe, projected as a starter, for the Jayhawks' regular-season opener on Nov. 8 against Louisiana-Monroe because he played in an unauthorized summer league game in Chicago.

According to NCAA regulations, college players are only allowed to participate in pro-am summer games in their college city or hometown.

"That's the penalty for playing in a game he knew he shouldn't have been playing in but didn't use good judgment," Self said after Kansas' 97-57 exhibition win over Pittsburg State on Tuesday night. "So it's a one-for-one deal, and that's the situation.

"So we self-reported that because he didn't get prior approval, which he would not have gotten because it wasn't in his area. It's a game for a game. Naadir can play in the next exhibition game, but he will not play in our first regular-season game."

Tharpe split time at the point last season with Elijah Johnson, averaging 5.5 points and 3.1 assists. In Tuesday night's exhibition win, Tharpe played 23 minutes and had seven points, nine assists and no turnovers.

While Tharpe will be able to play in Kansas' Nov. 5 exhibition game against Fort Hays State, freshman Frank Mason will start at the point in his place. Mason also will start the regular-season opener against Louisiana-Monroe.

Tharpe's first regular-season game will be against Duke on Nov. 12.
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