LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Chad Anderson's absence from Monday afternoon's practice session was an ominous sign for the Kentucky Wildcats, who learned earlier in day that the freshman linebacker had returned home to Ohio after having his eligibility appeal denied by the NCAA.
Anderson, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound SuperPrep All-America from Canton McKinley High School, had been practicing with the team since Aug. 13 while the NCAA reviewed an appeal filed on his behalf by UK. He reported to campus as an ineligible player after failing a senior English class that was part of the core curriculum for freshman eligibility. The basis of his appeal claimed that he was unintentionally misled by school officials at McKinley, who allegedly told him he did not need the course for eligibility.
"He's going to go back and take care of the English problem first, " UK coach Guy Morriss said. "They think he's probably going to have to go to night school to take care of that, then we'll step back, take a look at it, and go from there."
Anderson was being counted on for depth at inside linebacker, a position which finds the Cats with two new starters in Jamal White and Ronnie Riley and very little experience in reserve.
"That's just kind of the way the cards fall," Anderson said. "That's the way we've got to play them. Somebody has to step up."
Anderson has stated he plans to return to Kentucky when he regains eligibility. He is now considered a recruitable athlete, and would count against the school's scholarship limit of 16 for 2002 if he re-signs with the Cats.
According to UK officials, he can enroll in January if he passes the English course, but may not participate in spring drills due to the NCAA's rules on core curriculum.