Season is over for Cheverus’ Faithfull

Posted Jan. 29, 2010, at 10:57 p.m.

The leading player on Cheverus of Portland’s undefeated boys basketball team — and one of the leading candidates for this year’s Mr. Basketball Award — has played his last game for the Stags.

Indiana Faithfull, a 6-foot-3 senior point guard originally from Sydney, Australia, has maximized his eligibility to participate as a student-athlete, according to Maine Principals’ Association rules.

Cheverus officials made the announcement through a press release on the school’s Web site Friday.

MPA rules establish a limit of eight consecutive semesters for student-athlete eligibility.

According to Cheverus athletic administrator Gary Hoyt, Faithfull transferred to the school from his native Australia in the fall of 2007 to begin his sophomore year of school.

But he began his first year of high school in January 2006 according to the academic calendar in Australia, a year that in Maine did not start until nine months later. But according to MPA rules, Faithfull’s eight-semester eligibility count began in January 2006 and concluded with the start of Cheverus’ second semester of this school year on Jan. 25, 2010.

“[It was] an unintended consequence of a well-intentioned rule that is having a significant impact of the eligibility of Southern Hemisphere exchange students,” said Hoyt in the press release. “As a sophomore, Indiana is credited with three semesters of eligibility as a consequence of the difference in school calendars between Maine schools and a Southern Hemisphere school.

“Indiana has been an exemplary student athlete and is an innocent victim of the unintended consequence of this rule.”

There were discussions between Cheverus officials and the MPA to clarify Faithfull’s eligibility status that led to Friday’s announcement.

“As soon as they determined that there might be an issue, they were in immediate contact with the MPA office, asking for clarification of the MPA Eight Semester Rule, and implementing that rule without complaint,” said MPA executive director Dick Durost in the press release. “Their approach was exactly what we would hope and expect from every MPA member school.”

Faithfull, considered a potential Division I college basketball prospect, was averaging 13 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 steals per game this winter while helping Cheverus compile a 14-0 record good for first place in the current Western Maine Class A Heal point ratings.

The left-handed guard was a second-team Bangor Daily News All-Maine selection as a junior after helping the Stags to a 19-1 record and a berth in the Western A semifinals.

As a sophomore, he was part of a Cheverus team that won the 2008 Class A state title by rallying past Bangor 49-41 in the championship game.

During Faithfull’s two-plus seasons at Cheverus, the Stags had a combined record of 52-4.

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