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 126.96.36.199 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 head coach 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.