Berry, Sowers Out

According to a post via Twitter, West Virginia defensive lineman Scooter Berry will be ineligible to play in the Gator Bowl next week. He'll be joined at home by senior safety Nate Sowers.

Berry's post indicated that his status determination was made because he did not pass at least two classes in his declared major. In order to retain eligibility to play in games, student athletes must enroll in at least 12 hours of classes and pass at least six hours in their degree programs.

The post could not be confirmed as being made by Berry, however, it is an outlet which he has used to communicate many times this year.

Chad Wall, senior director of compliance for West Virginia, could not address Berry's eligibility status, but did confirm the rules as noted above. These rules apply to all athletes in all sports.

Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance Patrick Hairston said that the ruling only affects game competition, and would not affect a football player's participation in spring practice.

A brief statement from West Virginia's sports communications office confirmed the two suspensions.

"West Virginia University Head Football Coach Bill Stewart has announced that safety Nate Sowers and defensive lineman Scooter Berry will not participate in the 2010 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl for not meeting NCAA eligibility requirements."

Berry's absence from the game is a disappointing cap to an uneven junior season. On the field, he performed well, but shoulder injuries and a suspension for an arrest caused him to miss all or parts of several games for the Mountaineers. As a stalwart on the defensive front, Berry was a key factor in WVU's defensive play over the last month of the season, in which it nearly knocked off third-ranked Cincinnati and defeated Pitt in the Backyard Brawl.

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