Grant denied admission to Georgia

Updated: June 28, 2004, 7:43 PM ET
Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The University of Arkansas said Monday it has signed two-sport threat Michael Grant, who was denied admission at the University of Georgia because he was once expelled from a high school.

The 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback and sprinter received national honors in both track and field and football in high school and university officials say he is interested in competing in both as a Razorback.

"We are extremely excited to add a player of the caliber of Michael Grant at this point in the summer," said football coach Houston Nutt. "He has outstanding speed. With everything we lost in the secondary, he will have an opportunity to compete for playing time as a true freshman."

Georgia's faculty admissions committee rejected Grant because he was expelled from South Gwinnett High School in the 10th grade before enrolling at Stephenson High School his junior year. Ronnie Gartrell, Grant's football coach at Stephenson, said the player was expelled for an incident involving a female student.

Gartrell did not give further details.

Georgia released Grant from his scholarship after he was denied admission, and any eligibility questions related to his decision to attend Arkansas on scholarship have been cleared by Southeastern Conference officials.

Grant chose Georgia over Florida, Tennessee and Florida State and did not visit Arkansas during the regular recruiting period.

"As soon as I found out I wasn't going to Georgia, I gathered all my thoughts about the school I wanted to go to, and Arkansas just jumped out to me," Grant told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Arkansas track and field coach John McDonnell hopes Grant will become the second two-sport athlete from Georgia to become a standout on the track. Ahmad "Batman" Carroll, also from Atlanta, Ga., earned All-America honors in the 100 and 200 meters at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

"For us, it is great to be back with football in working with them to have a great sprinter," McDonnell said. "His addition will make our relay team very strong for next year. We are glad he is going to be a part of our program."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press