Ahmad, Harris Out at WVU

West Virginia forward Esa Ahmad (23) shoots a free throw in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 83-66. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

MORGANTOWN — An e-mail announcement that came from West Virginia’s Sports Information Office was just one sentence, but it contained a significant message — “West Virginia University men’s basketball senior Esa Ahmad and junior Wesley Harris have been dismissed from the team for a violation of athletic department policies.”

No further information was provided, but the impact was definite: the time for two of the Mountaineers’ top men’s basketball players at WVU has come to an end.

Ahmad, a 6-foot-8 senior forward from Cleveland, Ohio, had played in 112 games in his career at WVU, starting 104 of those.

He recently became the 53rd Mountaineer all-time to reach the 1,000-point plateau in his career, as he’s scored 1,039. He also has 487 career rebounds. This season Ahmad is WVU’s third-leading scorer, averaging 12.0 points per game, and also its third-leading rebounder with an averaging of 5.8 per game. He was suspended for the first 16 games of the 2017-18 season because of an unspecified NCAA violation.

Harris is a 6-8 forward from Jackson, Miss., who came to WVU from Lawson State (Ala.) Community College prior to the 2017-18 season. He started all 37 games for West Virginia last season as a third-year sophomore, averaging 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds. This season he had started 17 of WVU’s 24 games and was averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Ahmad is a senior whose collegiate eligibility is set to expire at the end of this season, but Harris was a fourth-year junior who will have a year of college eligibility remaining in the 2019-20 season. It appears almost certain that Harris will not be spending his final college year at WVU.

The 10-14 Mountaineers have seven regular season games left. They’re next in action Saturday at 4 p.m. at Kansas.

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