ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The eligibility of Central Florida’s 7-foot-6 Senegalese recruit remains in doubt less than a week before the school opens its basketball season.
Tacko Fall graduated from Liberty Christian Prep School in Tavares, Florida, this past spring and has been enrolled at UCF since June.
His American host mother, Amanda Wettstein, said Tuesday that Fall is no longer being allowed to practice while the NCAA continues to review his academic record.
She told The Associated Press the NCAA is requesting additional information about his qualifications. The governing body and UCF have declined to comment on Fall’s status.
Wettstein said she expects UCF to file for an academic waiver soon, allowing Fall to play in the opener at Davidson on Saturday.
"He is doing his best to focus on school and the things he can control," Wettstein said. "He doesn’t understand because he has done all that has been asked of him. He trusts that the right thing will happen."
If Fall isn’t cleared for Saturday’s game, he would next be in danger of missing UCF’s home opener on Nov. 18 when the Knights face UC Irvine and their 7-6 Senegalese center, Mamadou Ndiaye.
Two weeks ago, Fall’s eligibility was expected to be a formality. Knights coach Donnie Jones said at UCF’s media day on Oct. 20 that he was hoping to get a final word within a week.
"Obviously, we’re still waiting on total clearance from the NCAA for his situation, from his academics. We’re waiting on that right now," Jones said last month. "We know there are a lot of young men like him, in his situation across the country, that the NCAA’s got to go through its process with them."
Wettstein said she is confident the school is doing what it can to clear Fall.
"UCF has done everything they can to navigate this situation," she said. "Coach Jones is determined to see it through."