November 11, 2008

Arizona State, Cunningham decide to part ways

San Leandro (Calif.) guard Jared Cunningham was expected to sign a letter of intent with Arizona State on Wednesday, but that will no longer happen according to his father.

Jeff Cunningham said a mutual decision was reached between Sun Devil coach Herb Sendek and the Cunningham family late Tuesday afternoon.

The decision was related to Cunningham's perceived ability to qualify for initial eligibility, according to Jeff Cunningham.

"It's a very upsetting situation but we don't have any negativity toward Arizona State or the coaches there," Jeff Cunningham said. "Coach Sendek is very strict with his values and rules and we understand that. He hasn't changed anything as far as what he's asked of Jared. They were really good. It's just really unfortunate.

"It's too soon to know what we'll do as far as what are options are at this point. We're really not thinking about that just yet."

Cunningham, the No. 70 overall recruit in the 2009 class and No. 13 point guard prospect, verbally committed to the Sun Devils on Oct. 27 of last year.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder was one of two committed players expected to sign with the Sun Devils on Wednesday, the first day of the Early Signing Period, the other being fellow Top-100 recruit Trent Lockett out Minnetonka (Minn.) Hopkins.

ASU is also awaiting word on Ruslan Pateev, a 7-foot, 240 pound center at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla. Pateev is expected to choose between ASU, Florida State and NC State on Wednesday morning.

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