Missouri's Tony Mitchell ruled ineligible
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Tony Mitchell, a prized recruit for Missouri, has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA and the school plans no further appeals.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Dallas was considered one of the top high school prospects in the nation after averaging 20.5 points and 13.2 rebounds last season. Missouri (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) had been hopeful Mitchell could join the program for the spring semester.
The NCAA said Mitchell did not qualify academically. Mitchell was initially ruled ineligible on Jan. 5 and the school appealed to the Division I Initial Eligibility Waiver Committee, which upheld the staff decision on Jan. 13.
A source confirmed to ESPNDallas.com that Mitchell is in the process of enrolling at North Texas as an academic non-qualifier and would not be eligible to play until at least the second semester of the 2011-12 school year.
"I'm very disappointed for Tony and his family," coach Mike Anderson said in a statement following the ruling. "Tony is an outstanding young man, someone that has worked diligently to attend our university. He has shown great resolve during a difficult situation and we will continue to do whatever is allowable to help him as we move forward."
Mitchell signed a national letter of intent at Missouri in December 2009, and was viewed as the coup of a recruiting class that featured another Dallas player, guard Phil Pressey, a top freshman reserve this season.
As a non-qualifier, Mitchell is not eligible to compete, practice or receive athletic aid, but can receive financial aid based on need.
Mitchell averaged 17.2 points and 8.1 rebounds as a junior at Center of Life Academy in Miami, then moved back to his home state and attended L.G. Pinkston High School.
When Mitchell signed with Missouri, Rivals.com rated him the 15th best prospect in the country and was Missouri's highest-rated in 15 years. He was rated No. 2 in Texas, one ahead of Pressey.
ESPNDallas.com contributed to this report.
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