Auburn, Ala.--For months Auburn Tigers basketball Bruce Pearl has been waiting on a final word surrounding the eligibility of star freshman Danjel Purifoy and finally that may be closer to happening, according to the second-year coach of the Tigers. While there hasn’t been any resolution yet concerning Purifoy’s situation with the ACT, Pearl said, on Wednesday he’s expecting some clarity soon.
“I would say by the first of the year it will be resolved,” Pearl said. “We’ll have a final decision by then. The only reason why I mentioned it is because we were in some foul trouble and as I’m evaluating the game, it’s the first time I have brought it up. I try not to be an excuse maker.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t," he said. "I just try to look at things I can control and put the blame on myself and be more accountable, but occasionally that just creeps into your mind. You guys just come to practice and watch him and you can see what a difference he would make. I’ve never said he’s our best player, but I have said he’s our best pro prospect in the sense of what he has. I still think he’s a really good professional prospect.”
Flagged by the ACT testing center for too much of an increase in his scores, Purifoy has been admitted and is on full scholarship already at Auburn. That’s a huge step for the freshman said Pearl and it’s something that came about because Auburn did its job correctly.
Danjel Purifoy is shown at an Auburn practice.
“It’s not an internal compliance issue,” Pearl said. “It’s an issue with a testing agency. I have gotten questions about compliance from the standpoint of is this an Auburn self-inflicted situation and it’s absolutely not. We were required to do certain things that we did as it relates to every student-athlete’s eligibility.
“So upon doing them certain things do get flagged and his increase got flagged," the coach said. "That’s the issue. We did everything we were supposed to do from a compliance standpoint, nothing more and nothing less. If there’s any blame to be put out there it’s not on our compliance office.”
While he’s waiting to hear a final word on his eligibility Purifoy continues to practice with his teammates and Pearl said he’s keeping him ready in case he gets cleared. As for the options moving forward and what they may hear Pearl noted it’s really still up in the air about what may be decided and right now they are just at the mercy of the ACT.
“The options are he could be eligible immediately or he would be a partial qualifier and therefore sit out the year,” Pearl said. “The great news is that the NCAA has agreed that based on everything that's gone on, Danjel is able to be on full scholarship, which is a blessing.
“I think they've done what's in the best interest of the student athlete in that regard. I’m grateful for that. The rest of it is simply his eligibility piece, whether he's eligible to play, and we won't know until probably a few weeks.”