Pitt target Donovan Johnson, who was a standout at Moon Area High School in the 2018-19 season, was ruled ineligible to play in the 2019-20 season due to a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association rule limiting the number of seasons athletes can play. As a result, he appealed the PIAA ruling, and according to Chris Harlan of the Tribune-Review, a decision on his appeal is expected to be announced next Wednesday.
Johnson was ruled ineligible due to the fact that he had to repeat the eighth grade and continued to play basketball during that time. As a result, the PIAA currently holds that he has played in the maximum number of allowable seasons, which in the PIAA is six from the beginning of the seventh grade on.
Pitt head coach Jeff Capel offered Johnson, the younger brother of recent first-round NBA draft pick and Pitt graduate Cameron Johnson, on April 23. It wasn’t the first major offer the 6’7”, 185-pound prospect received, but it precipitated an upswing in his recruitment that saw powerhouses like North Carolina and Louisville get involved. Arizona, which is coached by former Pitt point guard Sean Miller, is also in the mix.
Johnson is a consensus four-star recruit, and if the ruling on his status is not overturned, he could reclassify from the 2020 recruiting class, in which he is currently a top-50 prospect, to the 2019 class. Should that come to pass, he would likely take the court for a college team this autumn. However, another option would be to enroll in a prep school for a year.
The local small forward averaged 22.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game at Moon last season, and he told Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers on Thursday that things were “still up in the air despite the reports that are out there.” Those reports indicated he was leaning toward remaining in the 2020 class and would not reclassify. Pitt has one open scholarship remaining for 2019, and Johnson and the Pitt coaching staff are in the Augusta, Georgia, area for the Nike EYBL Peach Jam event.