Yesterday’s entry regarding Sam Jones sparked conversations along a few different fronts.
SFN has confirmed that a significant portion of the Sam Jones rumor is true. Jones and his family were surprised to recently learn that Sam must still pass an Algebra II math class to gain admission to NC State. He will take the class this summer and hopefully become eligible before the season. Anything included in the rumor that goes beyond the information that we just shared – such as mentions of Florida State – are unfounded and incorrect. There is NO REASON to think that Jones is going to be suiting up anywhere but in west Raleigh at this point.
This news is very frustrating on many fronts – but the good news appears to be that Sam can/will take the class and there is no reason to think that he won’t be eligible for the coming season.
I want to STRESS that we do NOT know the specifics around how all of this unfolded. Nobody knows if ‘fault’ lies with Jones for simply failing to take the class or more with NC State for failing to insure that Jones was aware of all of his requirements.
Unfortunately, it is easy for NC State fans to presume the worst as it relates to the University’s role in the snafu in light of the Department’s recent track record of similar failures on this front in the past. As noah commented yesterday:
Tramain Hall‘s case was NCAA-related because he actually enrolled and took part in classes when he wasn’t eligible.
In Terrance Chapman’s case, the advisors told him to take one set of classes and he’d be fine. And that information…uh…was not correct.
(Could you imagine working in the real world and systematically screwing up something this major multiple times in a six or seven year period? And, these are just the instances that are publicly known!)
The folks around NC State seem to be downplaying this situation as ‘no big deal’ since it appears that Sam will be enrolled and eligible by the fall. IF ‘fault’ for this snafu does lie with the University then this type of behavior is exactly what enables the very incompetence and lack of attention to detail that continues to plague the Athletics Department. The public will never know the real truth about the situation so there is no reason to assume to much either way.
The one thing that seems to support the case that NC State may have made a mistake here is that, by all accounts, Jones and his family were very surprised when they learned about this situation. With that said, it is hard to believe that Jones would be surprised about the Algebra II requirement if it was something that had been shared and stressed with him in the past by the folks responsible for making sure athletes are eligible for admission.
Regardless of who owns responsibility on this – it is a HUGE problem when a 4-star recruit who has been in high school for five years does not know what classes he needs to gain admission to school and doesn’t learn about the requirements or his admission until the middle of the summer after he already has his workout gear.
Ultimately…SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is responsible for making sure that athletes are eligible for admission. It is the UNIVERSITY’S responsibility to work with the student athlete to determine what he or she needs for admittance. This is usually done prior to a scholarship offer and there is always a transcript review to determine if the athlete is in line to matriculate; ultimately, leading to a scholarship offer (or not). Furthermore, there is consistent review of academic progress after an athlete commits and definitely after an athlete signs.
So, if the good folks at NC State were actually on top of this issue then they would surely have known about it long before the middle of this summer and almost two months after he graduated high school for the second time. (Remember, Jones graduated from Fuqua-Varina high school after he originally signed with NC State in 2007.) However, this issue seemed to surprise everyone. With that said, it can’t be argued that all systems fired appropriately here when nobody knew about this issue until now.
As long as Jones passes his class this summer, it appears that there will be no negative consequence to this snafu. However, it is very important to stress that the end-result of this situation does not mitigate or diminsh the magnitude of the potential incompetence that may have originally created this situation.
Some people will try to blame Jon Fagg’s recent departure for this snafu as if that is some acceptable excuse for incompetence or explains the fact that Sam Jones has been in high school for five years and has been committed to NC State for at least 24 months.
As we alluded yesterday, I am particularly concerned about Pack Pride’s behavior in deleting this information from their free message board under the premise that it is all unfounded rumor. The core of the story is NOT unfounded rumor as Pack Pride claimed when they locked (but did not delete) the thread on their premium board. This information calls into question Pack Pride’s motivation of why the website – with a long history of NOT deleting horrible threads or individual posts – suddenly deleted this thread immediately after the conversation became critical of NC State’s athletics department’s history of bungling football players’ matriculation and admission.
We will have more scoop on the Sam Jones story if we get it and if it is relevant.
In parting — please tell me that you do not wonder why the ‘leadership’ at NC State hates the internet so much? You do realize that all of the focus in the fallout from this story will be how bad and negative the ‘internet’ is while a blind eye will be turned actually FIXING this systemic problem within the department?
At least they won’t be able to critize Pack Pride and The Wolfpacker…those sites have done their duty to the University in this process.