A 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive tackle, at one point Ty McKinney was viewed as a key component of a revamped Kansas Jayhawks defensive line. But the spring semester ended, summer arrived, and still he had yet to make his way to Lawrence, Kan.
The issue, as Head Coach Charlie Weis has explained, centered upon the ending date of his final class - a deadline which was continually pushed backward. Until all the coursework is graded, McKinney is not allowed to take his final exam. And until he takes his final exam, he cannot claim his scholarship and relocate to Kansas.
As of Tuesday, McKinney had submitted all of his coursework and was simply waiting for the go-ahead to take the final exam. Friday, Weis announced they had received some clarity on the situation.
"Ty McKinney will complete the necessary requirements for his AA degree Friday morning, Sept. 7, and then will head straight to Lawrence," Weis said, via press release. "This still allows Ty to enroll this fall as a full-time student at KU. Our academic support staff is working to create a schedule so that as soon as Ty arrives he can catch up academically. Once his academic situation is in order, he will get up to speed in football. There is no acclimatization period that Ty must fulfill, as far as practice is concerned."
McKinney will be on campus as the Jayhawks take on Rice, and as a full member of the team. However, it remains to be seen how quickly - or even if - he can get up to speed and make an impact this season. Currently, juniors John Williams and Kevin Young are in a battle for the nose guard spot on the depth chart, which is where McKinney is expected to play.
In other team news, Weis announced JUCO transfer linebacker Jon Shelby would be leaving the team for personal reasons.
"It is important at this time to protect Jon's privacy," he said. "We hope to have him back at KU sometime in the future."
The Jayhawks open the Charlie Weis Era on Saturday, Sept. 1 when South Dakota State rolls into town. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.