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The Scouting Report

NCAA Clears Perry to Play

September 04, 2004|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

Senior wide receiver Tab Perry was cleared to play this season by the NCAA on Friday and will be in uniform today for UCLA's game against Oklahoma State at the Rose Bowl.

Perry, academically ineligible last season, had appealed to the NCAA and was granted a waiver of the NCAA's progress-toward-degree rule.

"We are excited to have Tab back on the team," Coach Karl Dorrell said in a statement. "He worked hard to turn things around and put himself in the position to have a successful senior year, both on and off the field."

Perry, dismissed from school because of academic reasons in January, took classes at other schools, including a correspondence course at Brigham Young, and UCLA summer school classes to regain his eligibility.

"I would like to thank the NCAA for granting the appeal," said Perry, who last played in 2002. "I also want to thank the staff at UCLA for its hard work on my behalf. Finally, I want to thank Coach Dorrell for all of his support. Every day, he was optimistic and told me to stay positive. I was getting pretty nervous the past couple of days, so naturally I am thrilled about the decision."

Wally Renfro of the NCAA said Perry had helped his cause by working on a plan with UCLA and getting excellent grades.

"Mr. Perry made significant progress in summer school and had an aggressive plan for graduating," Renfro said. "All of that was enough to warrant a waiver of the minimum progress-toward-degree standard."

Last week, the NCAA rejected USC's request for a progress-toward-degree waiver for All-American wide receiver Mike Williams, who was trying to regain eligibility after leaving school in February and signing with an agent. Williams completed two summer-session classes as part of his attempt to show academic commitment.

Renfro declined to discuss specifics of Perry's and Williams' academic records, citing privacy issues, but said of Perry, "That's the type of performance requirement that it takes to get a waiver. If the overall academic record of recent academic performance does not demonstrate a high level of commitment or success, the chances of the waiver being granted are significantly lower."

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Times staff writer Gary Klein contributed to this report.

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