Utah's NCAA waiver request for Dudzinski denied

Utah's athletic department confirmed today their compliance office appealed the NCAA's clearing house ruling regarding <b>Mike Dudzinski's</b> academic status earlier this year, but it was denied, according to a highly placed Utah athletic department source who asked not to be identified.

"It wasn't the University of Utah who did this, it was the NCAA. He (Dudzinski) is a non-qualifier and because of Mountain West Conference rules, we are not able to have him here."

"He might be able to go to Fresno State," he said.

At least one top Utah coach read TotalBlueSports.com's article yesterday about Dudzinski and called his family.

Asked if he was aware of Scott Young's (BYU offensive lineman) nearly identical situation and NCAA appeal last year that was initially denied, but later approved, the official would only say: "We made our appeal, but it was turned down."

Mike Dudzinski was an All-State and All-Region offensive lineman in high school and just returned home last week from an LDS mission. Dudzinski and his parents declined any public comment pending a decision on his new NCAA appeal.

TBS learned from the family that if Dudzinski's appeal is successful, he plans on getting a summer job in Provo and walking on this fall at BYU. If the NCAA denies this second appeal, Dudzinski will likely attend Dixie or Snow junior college, then transfer to BYU upon graduation.

As recent as two weeks ago, Dudzinski's parents (Jim and Rosemarie Dudzinski) were in contact with Utah coaches regarding Mike's pending return from a mission. Family sources said there was no mention then that his scholarship might not be available to him.

The Utah athletic department source, however, confirmed today the possibility that Dudzinski might not be eligible had been known since early February.

TBS learned that at least one Utah coach had indicated to Salt Lake Tribune sportswriter Michael C. Lewis that Dudzinski would not be part of the football team. He said that was why there was no mention of Dudzinski in the Tribune's February 9 article that listed players who were returning from missions.

There was no clear explanation why the Dudzinski family was not fully informed of all these developments until last week.

Meanwhile, a BYU coach told the Dudzinski's if his NCAA appeal is successfully reversed, he will be able to earn a scholarship for next winter semester if BYU coaches are impressed with what they see.

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