Friday, February 01, 2002

NCAA won't reinstate Vols WR

Stallworth had opted for NFL draft but changed mind

The Associated Press

        KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The NCAA on Thursday denied receiver Donte Stallworth's request to have his eligibility reinstated after he changed his mind about entering the NFL draft.

        Stallworth, a junior, could appeal the decision to an NCAA committee, but university officials said he was waiting to talk to his family before deciding.

        Coach Phillip Fulmer, out of town on a recruiting trip, told The Associated Press he didn't know the reasons for the rejection.

        “To my knowledge, I don't know why,” he said. “I haven't talked to them.”

        “My mom really wants me to get my degree,” Stallworth told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “I've talked to my mom a little bit, but I want to talk to her a little more in-depth.”

        Stallworth announced he was entering the draft early but changed his mind before the NFL's deadline. The NFL retrieved his paperwork, eliminating his name from the early-entry draft list.

        But NCAA rules stipulate that even the intention to enter the draft results in lost eligibility. Stallworth also met with an agent and received nearly $1,300 in benefits before he changed his mind. Stallworth said he did not sign an agreement with the agent, Jimmy Sexton, and repaid him using his Pell Grant money.


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