Damion Grant Eligible -- Finally

Freshman Damion Grant won an appeal today after waiting for the past two months to see if he would be eligible to play this season for the Tar Heels. <p><b>UPDATED (8/4/02)</b>

The 7-foot Jamaican big man got word today and called his former coach at Brewster Academy (N.H.) Jason Smith. UNC assistant coach Doug Wojcik also called Smith late this afternoon to confirm the good news.

"The NCAA, in May, passed a ruling that international students were ineligible to improve their GPA in their fifth - or prep year," Smith said. "Previously, they were able to improve their grades."

"They never grandfathered it with any of the kids in the process, so we had to appeal it," added Smith.

Smith said Grant's grades were quickly gathered upon his completion of exams and all the paperwork was overnighted to both the NCAA and North Carolina.

"They found out today that he won the appeal process and is eligible," Smith said. "He left me a message that the verdict came back - that they won the appeal."

Update (8/4/02):

"Damion needed to attend Brewster this year to receive an additional core class, as well as gain further experience/development in basketball," Smith explained.  "It wasn't that his core GPA wasn't high enough, he merely didn't have enough core classes due to his schooling in Jamaica.  

"As you know, Damion is a very bright student (990 SAT) who performed very well at Brewster this year (3.0 GPA). We're very happy that everything is taken care of now and he's gotten the official OK with the NCAA Clearinghouse."

Larry Gallo, UNC Sr. Associate A.D. in charge of NCAA compliance, declined to comment specifically except to say that Damion Grant is now eligible to play.

For more on the definition of a "core course," as defined by the NCAA, please visit NCAA.org.

Related IC Links:
Damion Grant profile

J.B. Cissell contributed to this article.

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