NCAA declares that Mississippi prep school is acceptable

Published 7:05 pm Friday, July 7, 2006

The NCAA has declared the Mississippi prep school attended by Alabama signee Verice Cloyd “acceptable” for initial academic eligibility.

Now, Cloyd is waiting to see if the university will admit him.

The NCAA cleared transcripts from Genesis One Christian Academy, a prep school in Mendenhall, Miss., and 21 other schools Wednesday. The action applies to the current year and leaves the schools’ future status subject to review.

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Alabama athletic director Mal Moore referred a call seeking comment on Cloyd’s status Thursday to the media relations office. Becky Hopf, a spokeswoman for basketball coach Mark Gottfried, said the university had no immediate comment.

Cloyd, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard, said Crimson Tide coaches had told him the university would admit him if his transcripts were approved by the NCAA. He plans to attend the second semester of summer school beginning next week.

“Hopefully, it’s all over with,” Cloyd said. “I don’t have too many worries any more.”

Meanwhile, the prep school attended by top UAB signee Jeremy Mayfield, God’s Academy in Prairie View, Texas, is still awaiting a determination of its initial-eligibility status.

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward, an Oklahoma signee out of high school, signed with UAB in May after attending the prep school. Mayfield has not enrolled for summer classes, according to The Birmingham News.

UAB officials declined to comment on the player’s status.

Former Alabama Associate Vice President Roger Thompson, now vice provost at Indiana University, has said Alabama does not knowingly admit students from unaccredited schools. Genesis One is not accredited.

Cloyd’s attorney, Don Jackson, has threatened legal action against both the NCAA and Alabama if Cloyd is not eligible to play for the Tide this season.

“Since Genesis One is cleared, the university has no basis whatsoever for denying his initial eligibility,” Jackson said.

Two prep schools attended by current Auburn players were also approved. Point guard Quantez Robertson attended Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina while forward Josh Dollard went to Prince Avenue Prep in Pickens, S.C.

Deral Thigpen, president of Mendenhall Ministries and the chief administrator for Genesis One, said he doesn’t believe Cloyd should have any problems getting into Alabama.

“If anybody has done things right and by the book, it’s Verice Cloyd,” he said. “He’s been with us two years and he’s had to work hard. He’s done well on his ACT. If anybody should be allowed in school, it should be him.”