July 3, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dennis Tinnon, a 6-8 forward on the Marshall men's basketball team, was ruled eligible to play Tuesday as a senior for the 2012-13 season.
"We are absolutely thrilled by the decision and most importantly for Dennis and his family," said head coach Tom Herrion. "I applaud the efforts of the NCAA. As I've said all along, we were simply looking for justice to be served and clearly that is the case with this decision. I applaud the efforts of everyone at Marshall, Mike Hamrick, the law firm of Ropes and Gray, Jeff O'Malley and especially Derek Gwinn. Their collective efforts and resources allowed us to present such a great case."
The decision comes after a lengthy appeals process regarding his eligibility clock and when it began ticking. The Green Bay, Wis. native did not complete course work for his high school diploma on schedule and attended Williston State, a junior college in North Dakota, where he could obtain a GED and begin his college basketball career. However, he never played or practiced with the program and eventually returned to Green Bay East High School to obtain his degree before playing the next two seasons at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
After averaging a double-double in both seasons at KCK, Tinnon accomplished the same feat as a junior at Marshall last season with 10.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while starting all 35 games. A Conference USA All-Defensive Team member, Tinnon was one of the top rebounders in the country, especially on the offensive end where he ranked sixth in the NCAA with 4.0 offensive rebounds per game.
"Words can't describe the feelings I have after hearing the news," Tinnon said. "My family and I are so excited and grateful for the decision and opportunity to complete my playing career at Marshall. I want to thank Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, Mike Hamrick, Jeff O'Malley, Derek Gwinn and coach Herrion for helping with this case. As painful as it was at times due to the long process, I had faith in them that they were presenting the best case possible."