An Interesting Twist In The Tony Mitchell SagaPosted by nvr1983 on January 26th, 2011
Many of you are aware of the ongoing ordeal at Missouri where the athletic department has been trying to get a ruling from the NCAA on the eligibility of Tony Mitchell, a recruit considered by many to be one of the top 10 or 15 overall in last year’s class. A recent column by Seth Davis indicated that due to a strange stipulation in the NCAA rules if Mitchell did not enroll at Missouri and take a requisite number of courses by the end of the Spring semester not only would he be ineligible to play this season or even next fall, but he would never be allowed to play at the Division 1 level (scroll down). The exact number of courses that Mitchell needed to take to fulfill that requirement was not known because of some questions about his high school transcripts at an unaccredited school that he briefly attended in Florida. The reported deadline for the NCAA to make a decision and for Mitchell to enroll at Missouri was yesterday (January 25th), which was the last day for a student to enroll at Missouri for the Spring semester. That date came and passed without a ruling or news of Mitchell’s enrollment, but news came out that the decision might be pushed back until March 14th and there was a possibility that he could be eligible this spring.
We called the NCAA with regards to the ruling and the assertion by Davis that Mitchell might never be allowed to play Division 1 basketball, but thus far our calls have not been returned. We were able to get in touch with a spokesperson at Missouri who stated, “We don’t comment on that stuff. When we’re ready to comment we will comment.” Interestingly, shortly after our conversation with the spokesperson at Missouri news broke that Mitchell might be enrolling this year, but at North Texas instead of Missouri. According to some reports, if Mitchell is admitted to North Texas he could potentially be eligible to play next season although he could not be on scholarship until that point and would have to pay in-state tuition (note that the Sun Belt accepts partial qualifiers while the Big 12 does not). We are still waiting for more news on this and to hear back from the NCAA about Mitchell’s eligibility officially, but it seems pretty clear that this is one of the most complex recruiting/eligibility ordeals that we have seen.