This is a risk for Dunn. If he had gone to Cochise, he could have played for one of the best JUCOs in the nation and worked for his associate's degree, which would guarantee his ability to transfer back to a four-year school. All Dunn would have to do is earn his associates degree and maintain a 2.00 GPA and he'd be able to play for any school that takes JC transfers.
However, Dunn is going another route. He is attending Pima, will not play basketball and instead he will focus on academics. Dunn needs to make a lot of academic progress, and he needs to do it within a year. By taking a huge courseload, Dunn could conceivably be eligible by the end of the semester.
Arizona coaches and officials cannot comment on the situation, but it appears as if Dunn will have to take 12 units and maintain a 2.00 GPA in addition to making up the classes that he needed at Arizona. Sources say that he may need to take anywhere from 18 to 21 units and maintain a reasonably high GPA.
Privacy laws prohibit anyone at the University from commenting specifically on Dunn's academic woes, or even if he had academic woes, but NCAA by-laws state that a player must make "adequate progress towards a baccalaureate degree". This usually means that a player must have completed 24 credit hours with the 2.00 GPA in an academic year. This would mean that Dunn would need 36 credit hours (including his work at Arizona) with the 2.00 cumulative GPA by the end of this fall semester. If he does not have that progress completed by December, he'd need a total of 48 credit hours with the 2.00 completed by the end of the 2003-04 school year. If he can't get that done within a year, he'd need to finish the associate's degree (generally a two-year program) and transfer at that point.
Dunn is taking the risk of not playing for a semester to a full year. Since he has already taken a redshirt year, Dunn would lose a year of eligibility, even though he did not compete.
Taking such a heavy course load is rough. Twelve credit hours is considered full-time and anything more than 18 hours usually needs a waiver at most institutions. Not knowing how far behind Dunn is academically, it is not known just how much work he actually needs to do. One source close to the program noted that it was possible, but "a longshot". Dunn has never been the best student, but his mother told the Tucson Citizen that she would consider moving to Tucson to aid her son in his attempt to regain eligibility.
If Dunn could return to the team it would be a major boost to the Wildcats. The team has just three post players on the roster, including true freshman Kirk Walters. At this point small forward Andre Iguodala would have to spend time at power forward. Dunn's arrival nine games into the season would be a huge addition to a team that has already lost two other post players in the last six months. Dennis Latimore transferred to Notre Dame, while Ndudi Ebi spurned Arizona for the NBA.
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