Ole Miss recruit Powe loses NCAA eligibility appeal

Updated: September 14, 2006, 7:13 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- An NCAA review committee Thursday upheld the denial of freshman eligibility to Mississippi football recruit Jerrell Powe.

The 6-foot-3, 330-pound lineman originally signed with Ole Miss in 2005 but failed to meet academic requirements and enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. He again committed to Mississippi in February but was denied eligibility last month by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Ole Miss said two weeks ago it would admit Powe as a part-time student until his football eligibility was resolved, but the NCAA Student Records Review Group upheld the earlier ruling that Powe had not successfully completed initial eligibility requirements to compete in college sports.

"The NCAA stressed it is concerned about Mr. Powe's long-term well-being and that he has not yet demonstrated he can successfully manage the demands of full-time college academics and intercollegiate athletics," NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said in a statement. "Among its concerns, the group noted there was insufficient information provided to the NCAA to determine that Mr. Powe completed the work on his own without significant assistance."

The NCAA said Powe could return to high school to complete requirements for college eligibility, an option available to students with learning disabilities, or enroll at a junior college.

The ruling last month resulted in a lawsuit filed on Powe's behalf to force the university to admit him and the NCAA to authorize him to play, university officials said.

A telephone message seeking comment was left for Powe's attorney, James Carroll, at his office in Jackson, Miss., on Thursday night.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press