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Cotton, Family Haven't Decided About Appeal

College basketball: They meet with UCLA officials, who say they will help if the recruit challenges the NCAA's ruling invalidating his SAT score.

September 24, 1997|TIM KAWAKAMI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Potential UCLA basketball recruit Schea Cotton and his family met with school officials Tuesday but made no decision about whether to appeal the NCAA ruling that declared him academically ineligible, the school said.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the school said that Rich Herczog, director of compliance for the athletic department, and Donald Morrison, UCLA faculty athletic representative, discussed "various options" with the Cottons.

"According to Herczog, the family will consider all options before making a decision regarding whether to pursue an NCAA initial eligibility waiver," the UCLA statement said.

"UCLA has said it will assist the Cotton family if it wants to appeal to the NCAA Committee on Initial Eligibility Waivers."

Calls to the Cotton household were not returned Tuesday.

NCAA policy mandates that once the paperwork for an appeal is delivered to the NCAA, the appeal will be reviewed and ruled upon within two weeks, according to Bob Oliver, the NCAA's director of membership services.

Classes at UCLA begin Thursday.

Cotton's qualifying SAT score was invalidated last week after an NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse review of special accommodations he received while taking the test. Cotton, from Bellflower St. John Bosco, can attend classes but cannot receive financial assistance or officially enroll at UCLA unless his eligibility is granted by the NCAA.

If he chooses not to appeal--or appeals and loses--he will be denied admittance by UCLA because his acceptance was based on the provision that he meet academic requirements.

If filed, an appeal by a would-be freshman denied eligibility is examined by the staff of NCAA member services, Oliver said.

If the staff does not find clear precedent to make an immediate ruling, the appeal is passed on to the Initial Eligibility Waiver Subcommittee, which, by policy, judges appeals solely by the paperwork filed--and does not hear testimony from any party involved, Oliver said.

Within two weeks, the school is notified of the decision, Oliver said.

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