The University of Missouri has decided it will not make any further appeals on the eligibility status of prospective men’s basketball player Tony Mitchell.
The NCAA staff initially ruled Mitchell ineligible on Jan 5. The university then appealed to the Division I Initial Eligibility Waiver Committee, which upheld the staff decision on Jan 13.
After the initial eligibility waiver committee met, the university provided additional information to the NCAA staff. The NCAA staff reviewed the information before determining it had no impact on the decision. The university then decided it would not appeal the decision further.
“Membership has made it a priority that prospective student-athletes be academically prepared. The standards are clear and serve as the foundation for the other NCAA academic requirements that must be met once a student-athlete enters college,” stated Kevin Lennon, vice president for academic and membership affairs.
As a nonqualifier, the prospective student-athlete is not eligible to compete, practice or receive athletic aid but he can receive nonathletic financial aid based on need consistent with school and conference regulations.
To be eligible for Division I or II athletics, prospective student-athletes must meet NCAA academic and amateurism requirements. In this case, Mitchell failed to meet the requirements.
In order to compete at the Division I level, an incoming student must be a high school graduate, achieve a 2.0 GPA (based on a maximum of 4.00) in 16 core courses and present a qualifying score on either the SAT or ACT. Core courses are primarily English, math, foreign language, social studies and science classes with an emphasis on college preparation.
The initial eligibility waiver committee is an independent panel comprised of representatives from NCAA member colleges, universities and athletic conferences.
There are two ways for an individual who is not cleared for academic reasons to eventually become eligible for Div I sports. The person can either go to a junior college or enroll at a four-year school. If the individual takes the latter route, he or she must serve a year in residence and sit out from competition for a year. In both cases, the individual must meet the necessary academic requirements before regaining eligibility. Individual conferences may have more restrictive rules that could apply.