Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said, following Friday’s 85-57 victory over Western Carolina to open the season, he was aware the NCAA was looking into a violation concerning redshirt junior David Skara for a violation that occurred while he was playing for Valparaiso in 2016.
The NCAA announced on Friday that Skara will be suspended for the first nine games of the 2017- ‘18 season. The suspension was handed down due to a violation that occurred while Skara was a student-athlete at Valparaiso University in April 2016 prior to transferring to Clemson and serving a year in residence.
Skara sat out last season due to transfer rules.
“It has been ongoing,” Brownell said. “They (the NCAA) came to me last January. It was out of the blue when they hit me with it. It was something that happened at Valpo. I had to look into it.
“The NCAA was involved. It was really an NCAA thing. They handled it with our compliance folks. It was really just dealing with David. There was not much our compliance people could do or a lot that we did because we were not involved in any of what happened. It all happened somewhere else.”
Brownell said he did not want to get into what the violation was because it happened at another school that did not involve Clemson. Valpariso nor the NCAA offered up what violation Skara committed.
“So yes, we have known there was going to be some kind of penalty and we just had to kind of deal with it,” the Clemson coach said.
Though they knew Skara, a 6-foot-8, 208-pound forward, was going to be suspended, the Tigers’ coaches still wanted to get him some playing time in the off-season. Skara had to sit out all of last season due to transfer rules.
Skara played in both of the Tigers’ exhibition games in the preseason.
“He sat out all of last year, and I think, that is really hard for guys,” Brownell said. “So we tried to play him. We played him in our scrimmage. We were able to play him in the exhibitions. A little bit here in Tennessee we were going to play him some.
“You want to play him because you need him and because he is a better player, but at the same time you want these younger guys to get minutes. So we have been jockeying with it a little bit.
“We do have several wings right now I guess can play, but he is clearly better than the young guys right now.”
Skara is expected to return to the court for Clemson on Dec. 16 when the Tigers face Florida.