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Clark Held Out, May Be Ineligible

September 14, 2003|Mike DiGiovanna

UCLA cornerback Matt Clark was held out of Saturday night's game against Illinois because of an academic problem, and there is a chance the junior starter could be ineligible for the rest of the regular season.

Clark was academically certified before the season and played in the Bruins' opener at Colorado last weekend, but on Friday afternoon, UCLA apparently learned that Clark did not meet one of four criteria to remain eligible under NCAA guidelines.

According to NCAA rules, players must complete a certain number of units going into each school year, they must maintain a 1.8 grade-point average going into their junior season, they have to pass 36 units a year, and 75% of those units must be completed during the regular school year, not summer school.

UCLA officials, citing student privacy laws covering academics, declined to elaborate on the specifics of Clark's academic problem, saying only that his eligibility cannot be resolved until this week. Clark could appeal to the university in an effort to regain his eligibility.

Keith Short started in Clark's place Saturday night, and Marcus Cassel also got considerable playing time. Clark watched the game from home, but both he and his father declined to comment on the matter.

-- Mike DiGiovanna

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