It's Officially Here
OXFORD, Miss. - The University of Mississippi announced Monday that Jerrell Powe will be eligible to practice and compete during the upcoming 2008 football season.
Powe, a defensive tackle from Waynesboro, Miss., was permitted to enroll at Ole Miss last year and receive financial aid, but could not practice or compete in order to concentrate on his academic development. Powe has met University academic requirements, has fulfilled NCAA continuing eligibility standards and is now cleared for full participation.
Following completion of Powe's summer academic courses, the University asked the Southeastern Conference office for an interpretation of SEC Bylaw 184.108.40.206 in effect at the time of his enrollment.
The SEC informed the University of the following, "Under SEC legislation in place at the time of Mr. Powe's initial enrollment at the University of Mississippi during the fall semester 2007, a partial qualifier may be deemed eligible after successfully completing an academic year in residence including fulfillment of NCAA progress toward degree requirements. The NCAA's action of September 7, 2007 effectively made Mr. Powe a partial qualifier; therefore, based upon his academic record at the University of Mississippi he is deemed eligible under SEC Bylaws."
"Jerrell has been a student at Ole Miss for the last year, and has met academic requirements as established by the NCAA and the University of Mississippi," said Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone. "We are pleased that Jerrell will now become a student-athlete. It has been a long process and it is now time to move forward."
"We are excited that Jerrell is getting this opportunity and will be able to join the team for preseason practice," said Rebel headcoach Houston Nutt.
Ole Miss will begin preseason drills on Monday, August 4, and will open the 2008 season at home against the University of Memphis.
Statement from Jerrell Powe
“I am deeply grateful to Ole Miss and to the SEC for the opportunity to be admitted here and to prove that I can succeed academically and on the football field. I have always had faith and a plan and both are beginning to show results.
“Through God’s help and help from Ole Miss professors, counselors and coaches, I have successfully completed my first year of school at Ole Miss. However, my journey is just beginning. I have to continue to work hard in the classroom, and I still must prove myself on the football field in the SEC.
“Therefore, I have decided that I don’t deserve to give interviews yet, and that I will not give any interviews until such time as I have proven myself both in the classroom and on the football field. The teachers and the coaches will make that decision for me.
“Thank you for your interest in me. However, there are other Ole Miss student-athletes who are more deserving of your time and interest since they have already proven themselves.
“Thank you and God bless ... Jerrell Powe #57"