Balogun still under NCAA review
BY JOHN E. HOOVER World Sports Writer
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
8/18/09 at 8:23 AM
NORMAN — While Oklahoma linebacker Mike Balogun's college football career remains in limbo, the NCAA and the university continue "investigating this matter," according to an NCAA spokesman.
Balogun, who played in 10 games last season and started the national championship game after transferring from Lackawanna (Pa.) College, was declared ineligible on Friday after he was decertified by the NCAA. His decertification stems from whether he played semi-pro football in Maryland after his 21st birthday. He's allowed to practice through Wednesday, but his status after that is unclear. It's unknown when OU or the NCAA will announce a ruling.
During an open portion of practice Monday evening, Balogun was replaced as the backup middle linebacker by freshman Tom Wort.
Balogun, a 25-year-old senior, did not earn money to play in the North American Football League, according to league officials, but NCAA bylaws mandate that if he played in any games after his 21st birthday, he must lose a season of eligibility.
Both the school and the NCAA have declined to discuss specifics of Balogun's case because facts are still being gathered. It's unknown whether the NCAA's Eligibility Center can grant exemptions, but if it rules that Balogun is ineligible, OU can appeal the finding.
NCAA spokesman Chuck Wynne described the process in an e-mail interview Monday.
"An 'Agreed Upon Set of Facts' is drafted by the EC (Eligibility Center)," Wynne wrote. "If the University of Oklahoma doesn't agree on the purported facts, OU can request a determination of fact by the Division I Amateurism Fact-Finding Committee... The Fact-Finding Committee will then review information that is in dispute, and make a determination of fact for purposes of the review.
"If the EC staff and member institution come to agreement regarding the facts (or the Fact-Finding Committee makes a determination of fact), the EC staff then forwards the facts to the NCAA's Academic and Membership Affairs (AMA) staff for a determination of whether a violation occurred. Should the AMA staff determine violations occurred, the member institution may appeal the AMA staff's decision to the Division I Legislative Review and Interpretations Committee (LRIC)."
Under 21 Rule
NCAA student-athletes lose a year of eligibility for each 12-month period in which they participate in organized athletics competition after the age of 21, according to NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168.3. Athletics competition shall be considered organized if any one of the following conditions exists:
(a) Competition is scheduled and publicized in advance;
(b) Official score is kept;
(c) Individual or team standings are maintained;
(d) Official timer or game officials are used;
(e) Admission is charged;
(f) Teams are regularly formed or team rosters are predetermined;
(g) Team uniforms are used;
(h) A team is privately or commercially sponsored; or
(i) The competition is either directly or indirectly sponsored, promoted or administered by an individual, an organization or any other agency.
John E. Hoover 581-8384