Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Academic questions from NCAA sideline UCF's 7-foot-6 recruit for now

ORLANDO — The eligibility of UCF's 7-foot-6 Senegalese recruit remains in doubt less than a week before the school opens its basketball season.

Tacko Fall graduated this spring from Liberty Christian Prep in Tavares and has been enrolled at UCF since June.

His American host mother, Amanda Wettstein, said Tuesday that Fall is no longer allowed to practice while the NCAA continues to review his academic record.

She told the Associated Press the NCAA is requesting additional information about his qualifications. The governing body and UCF have declined to comment on Fall's status.

Wettstein said she expects UCF to file for an academic waiver soon, letting Fall play in Saturday's opener at Davidson.

She also told ESPN that if Fall, who had a 3.6 GPA in his last two high school years, isn't cleared then he's prepared to sue the NCAA.

"He will be represented," she said. "This just isn't right."

If Fall isn't cleared for Saturday's game, he would next be in danger of missing UCF's home opener on Nov. 18 when the Knights face UC Irvine and their 7-6 Senegalese center, Mamadou Ndiaye.

Two weeks ago, Fall's eligibility was expected to be a formality. Knights coach Donnie Jones said Oct. 20 at UCF's media day that he was hoping to get a final word within a week.

"Obviously, we're still waiting on total clearance from the NCAA for his situation, from his academics. We're waiting on that right now," Jones said last month. "We know there are a lot of young men like him, in his situation across the country, that the NCAA's got to go through its process with them."

Wettstein said she is confident the school is doing what it can to clear Fall.

"UCF has done everything they can to navigate this situation," she said. "Coach Jones is determined to see it through."

George Mason: Senior guard Patrick Holloway has been suspended for the first six games because of academic issues.

Women's All-Americans: Breanna Stewart is now part of an elite group — just the fourth player to be chosen as a unanimous women's preseason Associated Press All-American twice. The UConn star senior joined Maya Moore of Connecticut, Alana Beard of Duke and Brittney Griner of Baylor. "That's great company to be in," Stewart said. "To be named with those players is humbling since they've had so much success." Accompanying Stewart on the All-America first team Tuesday were teammate Moriah Jefferson, South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell, Baylor's Nina Davis and Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell. The players were chosen by a 32-member national media panel. USF's Courtney Williams and Florida State's Adut Bulgak got a vote each.

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