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Syracuse center Paschal Chukwu (13) during a Sweet 16 game against Duke on Friday, March 23, 2018, at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. Dennis Nett |  ( Dennis Nett)

Syracuse, N.Y. -- Paschal Chukwu hasn't thought much about attempting to gain back the Syracuse basketball season he missed with a serious eye injury. He said last week he would consider investigating the possibilities after the 2018-19 season.

How he would qualify for what would be a sixth year in a college basketball program requires the filing of paperwork for two different waivers.

First, some background:

Chukwu, the 7-foot-2 center, transferred from Providence College to Syracuse in June 2015. He played one year for the Friars.

He sat out the 2015-16 season as NCAA transfer rules mandate and had three seasons of college basketball eligibility remaining, starting in 2016-17.

But that season, Chukwu was hit in his right eye by a basketball during an Orange game. The injury would temporarily blind him and eventually cost him the rest of the season. At that point, he had appeared in seven Syracuse games.

To get a medical hardship waiver, an athlete cannot appear in more than 30 percent of his/her team's games in a season. Syracuse played 34 games in 2016-17, so Chukwu would appear to fall into a qualifying category. To apply for the medical waiver, Syracuse would submit paperwork on Chukwu's behalf to the ACC office, which would issue a ruling. If the conference denies the waiver, it can be appealed.

Here's where Chukwu's situation gets interesting. He played last season at Syracuse. He will play this season at Syracuse. The NCAA has a rule that gives college athletes five years to play four seasons. The five-year clock starts when the athlete arrives on campus his freshman year.

This will be Chukwu's fifth year at an NCAA member institution.

Athletes can apply for a waiver of the five-to-play-four rule, too. In Chukwu's case, he would need to win his medical hardship case, then have Syracuse "request a clock extension" on the five-year rule, said Christopher Radford, the NCAA Associate Director of Public and Media Relations. Those clock extensions, Radford said, are "not uncommon."

A successful medical hardship waiver would essentially wipe a season from Chukwu's college basketball timeline. He would then use five years to complete four full seasons of college basketball, including what the NCAA terms its "year in residency" -- the season Chukwu sat out after transferring.

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Here's how Chukwu's college basketball career has looked to this point:

Year 1 (2014-15) Providence College

Year 2 (2015-16) Sat out transfer season at Syracuse per NCAA's "year of residency."

Year 3 (2016-17) Played seven games before an eye injury ended his season

Year 4 (2017-18) Played an entire season at Syracuse

Year 5 (2018-19) Plans to play an entire season at Syracuse

Potential Year 6 (2019-20) Should he apply for and be granted a medical hardship waiver and a clock extension

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Syracuse basketball staff member Eric Devendorf has accepted a job with the University of Detroit-Mercy. (Dennis Nett | Cutillas Form Footbed Bordeaux paperina 41504 Dancer 39 Memory RRdqw0rx

Syracuse, N.Y. -- Syracuse basketball staff member Eric Devendorf has accepted a job at the University of Detroit Mercy to work on the staff of the school's first-year coach Mike Davis.

Devendorf announced his departure on Twitter and told | The Post-Standard that he's accepted a position as special assistant to the head coach. 

Devendorf spent the previous two years at Syracuse working as the team's assistant strength coach, serving as a valuable mentor and workout partner for guards on the team who have tried to learn from his fearless mindset.

Devendorf said the position means he will work closely with Davis on a day-to-day basis, providing a deep understanding of the coaching profession. He expects to help with scouting and film work, though it's uncertain at the moment whether it will involve on-court coaching duties or not. 

Davis was hired in June after spending the previous six years at Texas Southern. He has also been a head coach at Indiana and UAB.

For Devendorf, it's a step forward in his career and a decision that he made with the blessing of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. 

"I mentioned it to him earlier in the summer and then again as it got serious the last few weeks," Devendorf said. "Coach Boeheim told me to go for it. To get his blessing and his advice on it, knowing all the ins and outs, means the world."

Syracuse played Texas Southern last year, giving Devendorf and Davis the chance to talk. Devendorf said they re-connected in Dayton, where both teams played in the First Four, and exchanged phone numbers.

Devendorf, who grew up in the Detroit area, said goodbye to SU's players on Thursday and will work his final day at the school on Friday. He'll head to Detroit Mercy on Sunday and show up for his new job on Monday. The Titans have already begun preseason conditioning. His family will join him later in the year.

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Devendorf was especially appreciative of Boeheim and Syracuse University. The coach and the school created the position on its staff that allowed him to make in-roads into coaching, paving his professional road. 

"I've had the opportunity to learn and grow," Devendorf said. "It's been special, man. I would have never thought I'd be where I am."

Devendorf played at Syracuse from 2005 to 2009, then returned frequently during the summers as an international player.

Devendorf's career as a player at SU involved prolific scoring and occasional off-court issues. He has said that his suspensions as a player, along with his tattoos and trash talk, combined to create misperceptions about him as a person to those that didn't know him. 

Still his maturation from a perceived bad boy to college graduate to important mentor has been well-chronicled and inspiring for anyone who has followed.

When he is around the game he has remained as passionate and fiery as ever. But along with his position as a member of Syracuse basketball staff, Devendorf has embraced being a father, an ambassador for the program and serving as a fixture in the Syracuse community.

He was an organizer of Boeheim's Army, an alumni team that played in The Basketball Tournament each summer, and he organized community events like a water drive for Flint, Michigan, and a coat drive for local children in need.

 The fans and area have grown so significant to him that he penned a heartfelt note on Twitter to share his feelings about leaving.

"It's a lot to leave," Devendorf said. "In this business you can just leave and be somewhere different the next day. You don't always get attached to places. I've been here since 2005 as a player, coached here and even when I wasn't here, I was around the guys. I felt like I had to reach out and thank the community for supporting me through the good and the bad, and a lot more of the good. I've grown to have unconditional love for the community, and I think they've grown to feel the same way about me."

Contact Chris Carlson anytime: E-mail | Twitter | 315-412-1639

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The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the host sites for its men's basketball tournament in 2021 and 2022. (Dennis Nett |

Syracuse, N.Y. -- The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the locations for its men's basketball tournament in 2021 and 2022, tapping Washington, D.C. and Brooklyn respectively. 

The tournament will be held in the Capital One Arena in D.C., and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The addition of those two cities means the event will be held in four different locations over the next four years, spreading the event throughout the conference's geographic footprint.

The conference had already announced that Charlotte (2019) and Greensboro (2020) would be host cities in those years. 

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"The next four years of the ACC Tournament will be played in locations that are tremendously meaningful to the ACC, our players, coaches, alumni and fans," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "All four cities offer first-class venues and hospitality for our league, and we appreciate the continued partnership with each of these outstanding communities."

The sites are selected by voting from the 15 schools in the conference.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has been vocal in his belief that the ACC Tournament should only be held in major cities. Boeheim has provided multiple reasons for that belief, citing the amount of potential media coverage and the fact that basketball coaches frequently try to recruit those areas.

In making his opinion known, Boeheim famously declared that playing the event in Greensboro, a traditional home, had "no value," with some locals taking offense to the comment.

Greensboro city officials responded with snark on Twitter, while the minor league baseball team hosted a "No Value Night."

Both freshly announced locations should be friendly to Syracuse and its fans. The school has a significant alumni presence in both cities, and Brooklyn's location has led to Orange-tinted crowds during both years that the event has been held there.

The league set attendance records for the event in both 2017 and 2018, when the event was held in Brooklyn. 

Contact Chris Carlson anytime: E-mail | Twitter | 315-412-1639

Jim Boeheim takes jab at Greensboro; city's Twitter account punches back

"There's no value in playing in Greensboro. None,'' Boeheim says.