Options for Non-Qualifer who wants to walk-on for football

Dear Eligibility Coach:

My son attended one high school in the ninth grade where he did very well academically; however, the school did not have sports teams. So we transferred him to another high school in the tenth grade. Because of their stringent curriculum, they suggested and we agreed that he should repeat the ninth grade ,which he did. He graduated from the second high school in June 2011.

We just found out that our son is a final non-qualifier with the NCAA because they did not consdier his 12th grade year at all. If they had considered his 12th grade year, he has all the core requirements with the requisite 2.0 grade point average to be certified for Division I sports. My son failed Algebra II in the 11th grade. He took it again in the 12th grade and got a C; however his re-taking of the class is not being considered. We were counting on his 12th grade year to get him over the hump, which if would if it was counted. I believe I understand why the NCAA has the rule about only considering a student’s initial eight sememsters of high school to avoid school  hopping, etc., however this was not the case with my son. The school did not have an athletic program of any kind. If we had known of this policy, we certainly would have done things differently.

It is my understanding that the Clearinghouse’s ruling can be appealed, but the appeal must be initiated by the Univeristy. How do I get his university to consider asking for this appeal? If the school loses the appeal, will my son be able to participate with the football team for Spring football practice if he is academicaly successful during his first semester of college?

Dear Parent:

The NCAA Eligiblity Center only allows courses from the first eight semesters of high school to count in the NCAA grade-point average calculation. That is a requirement for all prospective student-athletes and therefore not subject to appeal. As a non-qualifiler, your son has a few options. Since he has already started the semester, he may remain at his university and sit a year in residence, meaning he will not be able to practice or compete with the team in an effort for him to focus on his academics. That also means he will not be able to participate in spring football practice because that is still a part of the first year in residence where he is not eligible to participate.


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