SMU senior and reigning U.S. Amateur and NCAA men’s golf champion Bryson DeChambeau is leaving the SMU men’s golf team following the severe NCAA sanctions announced two weeks ago.
“To best prepare myself for the next six months of competition and future events, I felt it was appropriate to make this decision now to be fair to my coaches and team,” DeChambeau told the Golf Channel.
As a result of recruiting and ethical violations that occurred under former Head Coach Josh Gregory, the NCAA docked the golf team 25 percent of its scholarships for the next three years and banned the team from participating in postseason individual and team competition in 2016.
When DeChambeau won the U.S. Amateur, he earned a spot in the 2016 Masters, U.S. Open and British Open, provided that he remains an amateur.
DeChambeau would not be allowed to defend his NCAA Individual title under the current sanctions.
In an email sent out to the university community on Friday, SMU President R. Gerald Turner announced that SMU would appeal the duration of the scholarship loss and penalty level resulting in the postseason competition ban.
The appeal process could take months and there is no guarantee that the sanctions will be lifted. Even if they are overturned, DeChambeau will no longer be a part of the SMU team.
The Golf Channel reported that DeChambeau will likely turn pro after The Masters, in which case he would have to qualify for the U.S. Open and British Open.