Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Rutgers will visit Cincinnati Oct. 11, but Ben Mauk won’t be the Bearcats QB.
Mauk, one of the key components in Cincinnati’s rise to Top 25 prominence last season, had his final appeal for another year of eligibility turned down Friday by the NCAA. It was the third time that Mauk’s request for another season has been rejected by the NCAA.
“I’m disappointed for Ben,” coach Brian Kelly said after the team’s practice Friday. “But he’s a pretty resilient kid. Obviously he’s quite disappointed himself. But he’s got a lot of good options out there.”
Read the rest of the AP story below.
Mauk was an inspiring story last season, when he overcame career-threatening injuries and led Cincinnati to a No. 20 ranking in the final USA TODAY coaches’ poll. He threw for 31 touchdowns and 3,121 yards even though his right arm and shoulder were still in pain.
Afterward, he appealed to the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility because of the injuries, but was turned down. He appealed again on a different basis, pointing out that he redshirted his freshman year at Wake Forest in part because of different injuries. The NCAA again turned him down.
Finally, Mauk took his appeal to the NCAA’s reinstatement committee, which decided Friday that there wasn’t enough medical documentation to support his claim that he missed his freshman year because of injury.
Mauk was with the team at its summer camp Friday morning when the university got the decision. He left camp to be with his family. Kelly said that Mauk would like to try to join an NFL team in training camp. If not, he could be a graduate assistant with Cincinnati, where Mauk is working on his master’s degree.
The ruling means that Cincinnati will head into the season with senior Dustin Grutza as the No. 1 quarterback. Mauk replaced Grutza as the starter last season.
“I kind of felt bad,” Grutza said. “Ben’s a good friend of mine, and we’ve been through a lot of stuff together.”
Read my story from Big East Media Day on how Grutza is prepared to be Cincy’s starting QB.
OSEI TO RUTGERSDavid Osei of Abington (Pa.) High School verbally committed to Rutgers on Friday, giving the Scarlet Knights 19 commitments for 2009.
“I came to the decision to go to Rutgers because I thought it was a place that would make me the best player and give me the best chance to win a national championship,” Osei told John Otterstedt of Rivals.
Osei’s coach, Tim Sorber, said he play a slew of positions.
“I see him playing somewhere on the OL,” said Sorber. “I know Kirk Ciarrocca sees him as a possible center or guard. I can see him as a kid who can play anywhere on the OL because of his athletic ability and ability to pass protect. I think he could be one of those kids where there is a lot of flexibility.”
Osei’s commitment comes in the wake of a decommitment Thursday by Immaculata center Mark Brazinski, who is considering Rutgers, Penn and Boston College. Brazinski is ranked the No. 5 center in the nation.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.