SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis will miss the first four games of the regular season because of a misunderstanding over an NCAA rule.

The school announced the news Tuesday. The 6-foot-8 senior was the team’s second-leading scorer last year at 16.1 points per game.

The problem dates to his sophomore year, when he played in two exhibition games at the beginning of the 2008-09 season.

The Irish then sat him for the rest of the exhibition season to preserve an extra year of eligibility. But the NCAA only allows that for freshmen, so Abromaitis technically used a season of eligibility when he participated in the two exhibition games.

“This certainly was an unfortunate misunderstanding that I had of the NCAA rule,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “I discovered that I had misinterpreted the rule midway through the 2008-09 season and immediately reported it to our compliance office.”

The school appealed to the NCAA and Abromaitis was granted a fifth year of eligibility as long as he sits out the first four regular-season games: Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 12), Detroit (Nov. 14), Sam Houston State (Nov. 16) and Delaware State (Nov. 18).

His first game back would be against Missouri at the CBE Classic on Nov. 21.