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September 5, 2013
Tulsa, Okla. -- The NCAA has denied Tulsa's appeal in the eligibility case involving safety Demarco Nelson.
Nelson was ruled academically ineligible to compete on Aug. 27. School officials say they learned of the NCAA's decision regarding the appeal on Wednesday.
Officials say Nelson can redshirt this season and return to the field in 2014 as a fifth-year senior if he meets the appropriate academic requirements.
"We've exhausted every avenue in trying to support the student-athlete, but unfortunately Demarco will not be eligible to play this year," said Director of Athletics Derrick Gragg. "Education is priority for our student-athletes, and at this time Demarco's focus needs to be on his academic progress towards a degree."
As expected, Coach Bill Blankenship was not pleased with the situation.
"We're extremely disappointed that Demarco will not be able to compete this season," Blankenship explained. "He'll need to concentrate his efforts on academics and be in a situation to play and graduate next year."
Nelson is three-year starter from Glenpool, Oklahoma.