Owls freshman Eric declared ineligible

Posted: October 12, 2007

Temple freshman Michael Eric has been declared academically ineligible to play basketball by the NCAA Clearinghouse, school officials said yesterday.

Eric, a 6-foot-10 native of Nigeria who had been expected to provide frontcourt depth this season, had spent the last two seasons at the Church Farm School in Exton and another year at a school in Delaware. One Temple official said Eric's high school transcript from those years and his standardized test scores were well above the standards needed to qualify under NCAA rules. But his "academic portfolio in Nigeria," as the Temple official put it, apparently caused the hang-up.

"I think Mike has done everything he could possibly do to be a college athlete this year," Owls coach Fran Dunphy said yesterday. "It's all related to his Nigerian experience academically. It is very unfortunate for everybody involved, especially Mike. There are no winners in this situation."

Dunphy said Temple became aware of a potential Clearinghouse issue in the last three weeks. Eric will not be allowed to practice with the team this season.

"We thought everything was taken care of," Dunphy said. "I think my concern about the Clearinghouse in this issue is that they advertise that they make these kinds of rulings on a case-by-case basis. That was not my impression on this issue. I think he was put in the same category as others who were not in as good a shape as he was academically."


Contact staff writer Mike Jensen at 215-854-4489 or mjensen@phillynews.com.

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