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CHARLOTTESVILLE – Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria), a 6-2 freshman forward on the Virginia women’s basketball team, has been ruled ineligible to compete and practice by the NCAA during her first year at UVa. The ruling is a result of a gap in her high school enrollment while living in Nigeria. NCAA bylaw requires prospective student-athletes to complete their core-curriculum requirements within four consecutive years of their initial date of high school enrollment.

Imovbioh is enrolled at UVa, but will not be eligible to compete in games or participate in practices during the 2011-12 academic year.

“While I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to compete or practice with my teammates this season, my decision to attend the University of Virginia was about more than basketball,” Imovbioh said. “Attending UVa will put me in a position to assist my family in the future and I am looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Provided Imovbioh meets NCAA and UVa academic requirements, she will be eligible for four seasons of competition beginning with the 2012-13 academic year.

“We support the decision of the NCAA and have worked with them through this process,” Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle said. “I’m glad to have clarity in terms of Sarah’s future eligibility and happy that she will have the opportunity to have a full career here at the University of Virginia.”

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