Syracuse's Southerland cleared to return

Syracuse forward James Southerland was cleared to return after sitting six games because of an eligibility issue.

Southerland last played Jan. 9 against Providence and the Orange went 4-2 in the senior's absence. He was Syracuse's second-leading scorer, averaging 13.6 points in 16 games, before being forced to the sideline prior to a Jan. 12 game against Villanova.

Details of the eligibility issue were not disclosed, but it was believed to be related to academics. Southerland had a hearing earlier this week and is eligible to play Sunday against St. John's at the Carrier Dome.

"SO PUMPED UP NOW!!" Southerland tweeted before Sunday's game. "I won the appeal and I'll see you guys at 3 at the Carrier Dome. James is Baaaccckkk BABYYY!!!!"

Eligibility issues have become somewhat commonplace for Syracuse.

Last year, center Fab Melo encountered academic eligibility problems during the season and again just before the start of the NCAA Tournament.