There's been some renewed talk lately about why Jason Terry's jersey remains unretired at Arizona, thanks possibly to the Dallas Mavericks' NBA title and a recent post from Javier Morales.

But the fact is that it won't be retired anytime soon. Maybe never.

While Greg Byrne said he is "wide open" to the idea of retiring Terry's jersey, UA can't do so unless the Pac-10 and the NCAA sign off on the idea. The Pac-10 last considered the notion two years ago, and it was soundly defeated by the conference's presidents.

And in today's heated climate of NCAA sanctions - with the major issues at places such as USC and Ohio State -- it isn't likely that a sanction is likely to be reversed just because the financial debt has been repaid and a decade has passed.

Reversing a sanction such as Terry's jersey would set a precedent that nobody seems willing to set today.

The reason why the Pac-10 is involved is because the Pac-10 has its own enforcement and compliance staff, and worked with UA during the investigation found Terry took $11,500 in cash and benefits from agents while with the Wildcats.

In June 2000, the Pac-10 approved UA's decision to ask Terry to repay $45,363 -- the amount of forfeited NCAA tournament revenues as determined by NCAA bylaws -- as well as make him ineligible for jersey retirement and the UA sports hall of fame. Then the decision was forwarded to the NCAA for final approval.

So the reverse would have to happen if Terry's jersey were to be retired. UA would have to get permission from the Pac-10, which would forward it to the NCAA.

UA deputy AD Rocky LaRose said the issue was raised to the Pac-10 council two years ago, and that the council deemed it important enough for the presidents to vote on - when it was flatly rejected. The issue didn't even reach the NCAA.

So for now, the issue is a dead one at UA. Arizona would like to retire the jersey but has no current plans to seek permission. Only time might change that plan.


Here's some detail on what UA reported to the Pac-10 back in 2000, according to our archives:

-- Agent Ndidi Opia gave both Terry's mother and Terry legal advice without charge and, according to Terry's testimony, gave Terry a total of $7,000 in three payments. On one occasion, Terry said Opia gave him a magazine after practice that contained an envelope with $2,500-$3,000 in it.

-- Terry said agent Larry Fox wired him a total of about $3,000 during his senior year via Western Union under the name of "James Terry," a deceased uncle. Fox denied it and refused to allow investigators to check his Western Union records.
Terry's sister, Rashaan Horne, also said that Terry mentioned that the agent had "been taking care of him" since his freshman year of 1995-96, but the UA never found corroborating evidence of Terry's receiving improper benefits until after his junior year.

-- Terry testified that Fox gave him a total of $1,500 in cash and checks for payments on his 1994 Honda and other expenses.
After the Honda was repossessed in early 1999, the UA said, a representative from Quebedeaux Pontiac sought financing for Terry to buy another car and stated that a lawyer in New York would make the payments. (Quebedeaux officials denied there was ever another person involved in the purchase, which never happened.)

-- Terry admitted arranging game tickets for Fox under the alias "Roger Simpson." Fox told Pac-10 investigator Dan Coonan that he and Terry made up the name so UA officials would not know he was receiving the tickets.

-- Terry attended the Bollettieri Sports Academy in Bradenton, Fla., in August 1998, taking free air fare, room, board and tuition. Terry's mother, Andrea Cheatham, charged that Fox paid for the camp, although Fox denied paying for it, and camp officials said they wrote off the debt.

-- Opia helped Cheatham obtain disability insurance for Terry, which would have paid him in the event of a season-ending injury. The assistance was an illegal benefit to Cheatham and the insurance was a violation because Terry did not properly inform UA compliance officer Bill Morgan of it.

-- The UA said no athletic department members or coaches knew of any improper benefits because there were no changes in his lifestyle that led to a concern.


Terry, meanwhile, is expecting a crazy parade Thursday in Dallas.

"That's probably when all this will sink in for us. I went through it in '97 (when Arizona won the national title)," Terry told the Seattle Times. "The city was unbelievable in Tucson, but they do it big in Texas. It's going to be unbelievable."


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Sportswriter for the Arizona Daily Star covering Arizona Wildcats basketball