MSU Star Mario Austin Remains Sidelined

STARKVILLE, Miss. -­ Mississippi State University has been advised that the Division I Initial Eligibility Waivers Committee Subcommittee on Transcript Change has determined that student-athlete Mario Austin was erroneously certified as an initial eligibility "qualifier" for his freshman season (2000-01).

The initial eligibility certification in question was made by the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse, not by Mississippi State University, and the high school core course content issues now raised by the NCAA were reviewed by the SEC in the fall of 2000 and deemed to be within the high school's appropriate scope of authority. Since enrollment, Mario Austin has fulfilled all NCAA and SEC continuing eligibility requirements.

Mississippi State has determined that both substantive and procedural issues remain unresolved and university representatives are working with the NCAA, and legal counsel for Austin, to determine the appropriate means of review and resolution. In the meantime, the university must continue to withhold Austin from competition.

"Mississippi State University will pursue every means within its power to resolve the eligibility issues as quickly as possible as they relate to Mario Austin," Dr. Charles Lee, interim president of the university stated.

Mississippi State officials believe it is in the best interest of all parties that no further statements are made until these procedural issues are resolved.

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