It has taken six weeks but on August 6th Syracuse finally got the answer as to whether or not 2015 commit Marquise Blair achieved the necessary grades to enroll at SU this fall. Ultimately, Blair as been deemed academically ineligible by the NCAA and will not be allowed to play for Syracuse in 2015.
As a result, Blair will attend Junior college this fall and attempt to complete the five additional credits he needs, under NCAA regulations, to attend and play football at Syracuse University.
This news is significant as Blair was the only four-star recruit in the class of 2015 and was widely seen as the player with the most potential in the group. This decision also illustrates, yet again, the dumbfounding way in which the NCAA operates.
Apparently, according to CuseNation.com, the NCAA did not accept credits from Blair’s senior year of high school despite his High School (Wooster High School) and the state of Ohio accepting the credits and allowing Blair to graduate. This is just the beginning of the issues with this decision.
The NCAA waited until August 6th– four weeks before the season is set to kick-off and Blair was set to suit up for the Orange– to hand down their decision. Either the credits were legitimate or not. It is astounding that it took six weeks for the NCAA to reach this seemingly simple decision.
This process was not fair to Syracuse, and more importantly it is not fair to Blair. The Orange were left not knowing if they will have their top freshman for the new season (though this decision does open a scholarship for Adam Giordano). Blair was left unsure of where he would spend the next year of his life.
All Syracuse fans know just how much time the NCAA can take to make decisions. It is one thing to mull over sanctions for a program and its an entirely different thing to take such a long time to decide a young man’s future.