Tudor: Pack's Purvis deserves immediate NCAA ruling

Freshman guard needs to have enough time to sort through options if ruled ineligible

ctudor@newsobserver.comAugust 19, 2012 


CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 28: Rodney Purvis #44 of the East team drives to the basket past Isaiah Austin #33 of the West team during the 2012 McDonald's All American Game at United Center on March 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Todney Purvis; Isaiah Austin


The NCAA is slammed. Anyone with even a passing interest in college sports understands that much.

Coaches, players, agents, administrators, equipment companies – the list seems endless – are piling up misdeeds with such regularity that the Indianapolis CSI unit might have trouble juggling the case load.

That said, Rodney Purvis deserves an up or down thumb from the NCAA academic clearinghouse fast – if not today, then tomorrow at the latest.

It’s not that N.C. State’s basketball program or its 2012-13 season hinges entirely on the NCAA’s ruling on the player’s academic qualifications.

Purvis, a guard from Raleigh’s Upper Room Christian Academy, could be the best freshman in the ACC. But whether he turns out to good, bad or average, the Wolfpack should have enough talent and experience to contend for the league title and a favorable NCAA Tournament seed.

The important issues in the matter are Purvis’ peace of mind and ability to make a sound decision regarding his future if the clearinghouse says he’s ineligible.

As of now, Purvis is not enrolled in school and probably won’t be until the NCAA finishes its review of Upper Room Christian Academy’s academic status.

When news of Purvis’ jam become known on Aug. 3, the NCAA’s Christopher Radford, an associate director of public and media relations, wrote an email to the News & Observer in which he said Upper Room Christian is the subject of an “extended evaluation.”

Radford went to say that a part of the decision timetable would depend on Upper Room Christian’s cooperation.

OK, fine.

All of that makes sense, although it is reasonable to wonder why the eligibility of one of the nation’s top-rated recruits didn’t merit some priority earlier.

Purvis was forced to stay home when the rest of the team recently went on a trip to Spain, a development that irked Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried but the player seemed to accept it with grace and understanding.

And if turns out that Purvis can’t play at all this season for N.C. State, so be it. But the very least he should expect from the NCAA is a yes or no that comes in time for him to think it through and then react.

Obviously, he could play for a junior college or perhaps even turn pro and play for an overseas team.

A lesson to be learned from the Purvis story may be that students should be completely certain about the academic credentials of their high schools long before the college application process begins. But the big picture, for now, isn’t the main concern.

The NCAA needs to let the guy get on with his life while there’s still at least a little time left for him to develop Plan B.

Tudor: 919-829-8946

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