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Memphis loses appeal; Rose sidesteps questions

CHICAGO – Bulls guard Derrick Rose evaded questions Monday about his role in a scandal that forced Memphis to vacate its 38-win season and forfeit about $615,000 in NCAA tournament revenue from 2008.

“I already talked about it in the past,” Rose said before the Bulls hosted the Houston Rockets. “Right now, I’m not even thinking about it. I have no comment on it right now. I’m just trying to get us to the playoffs.”

The NCAA announced Monday that its Infractions Appeal Committee ruled against Memphis, which was found to use an ineligible player that was believed to be Rose. Memphis had appealed an Aug. 20 ruling, arguing that the school was held to a strict liability when the student-athlete was ruled retroactively ineligible for an SAT score that was invalidated by the Educational Testing Service in May 2008.

The committee’s decision was based on a letter from the testing agency to the player that “not only made the student-athlete aware that his eligibility was in serious jeopardy, but that he would be declared ineligible if he did not respond to the letter,” according to the committee’s report to the NCAA.

The letters that ETS sent to the player were dated March 17, 2008 – while Rose was playing in the NCAA tournament – and April 10, 2008, days after the championship game loss.

The decision will result in lost money along with an asterisk beside Memphis’ 38-2 season.

Almost there: Rose started strong in his second game back from a wrist injury that sidelined him for more than a week, but he wasn’t ready to declare himself at 100 percent strength.

“I wouldn’t say that, but I’m probably getting there,” said Rose, who sprained his left wrist March 11 at Orlando. “I’ve been getting treatment and getting therapy every day, so it’s coming along.”

Rose had a hand in each of the Bulls’ first nine points against the Rockets. He scored six points and notched an assist on a three-point shot by Kirk Hinrich.

Bulls bits: The Bulls avoided Rockets forward Shane Battier, who will miss the next 10 to 14 days because of a sprained left knee. … Injured forward Luol Deng (calf strain) was ruled inactive for the Bulls along with guard Devin Brown and center Jerome James.

• The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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