Augustus Gets Clearance, Enrolls

With four days left before the opening classes of this fall semester, Mississippi State basketball can finally, officially put another name on the 2007-08 roster as forward Kodi Augustus received certification for freshman eligibility by the NCAA Clearinghouse. He has enrolled for the fall semester and will begin classes Monday.

With this clearance, State now has ten recruited scholarship players on the 2007-08 roster. Augustus joins senior F/C Charles Rhodes; junior G Jamont Gordon, transfer C/F Brian Johnson; sophomores G Ben Hansbrough, G Barry Stewart, and C Jarvis Varnado; redshirt freshman G Phil Turner; and fellow freshmen G/F Ravern Johnson and G Riley Benock. Both those rookies were cleared routinely and were on the MSU campus for summer school.

Augustus is a 6-9, 220-pounder who played this past year at Maine Central Institute, a prep school, after playing his high school career at Willowridge High School in Houston, Texas. He is a native of Baton Rouge, La.

Getting Augustus cleared took longer than those two classmates due to frequent changes of school en route to college, his attending a prep school, and the number of grade records to be provided from those schools as required by the Clearinghouse. That body, which this fall will formally be taken in-house by the NCAA, has to have all such materials provided by the athletes and the schools, not by the college that they are signed by.

This leaves only center Elgin Bailey yet to be cleared from State's four-member freshman class. Bailey is a 6-8, 255-pounder from Baton Rouge, La., who played his senior season in Texas after transferring from Belaire High School. He had previously played at Glen Oaks High in Baton Rouge in his varied prep career, complicating the matter of establishing his academic credentials.

The nominal deadline for fall semester enrollment at MSU is five school days after classes start; this year the first classes open next Monday, August 20. However there has been some leeway in late enrollments of a few days in past cases for athletes and non-athletes alike.

Even with Bailey and Augustus, Mississippi State's basketball roster would still list only 11 ‘recruited' scholarship players, three under the maximum. It is expected at least one of those open grants will go to a veteran walk-on.

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