GPA trips up Tucker

January 21, 2009

Iowa freshman Anthony Tucker apparently passed all of his classes but did not meet the Big Ten’s minimum grade-point standard, Iowa associate athletics director Fred Mims said Wednesday.
“(It’s) just academic progression,” Mims said. “Credit hours were fine, just the qualitative part of it.
Mims declined to discuss Tucker’s grade-point-average.
“I’m not going to get into that,” Mims said. “I’m just going to say he didn’t meet the standards.”
Both the Big Ten and the University of Iowa require freshman student-athletes to carry at least a 1.65 grade-point-average to be eligible. The NCAA demands all students to have six credit hours entering the second semester but not require students to maintain a specific grade-point-average.
On Jan. 6, Tucker told reporters he had nothing to worry about academically.
“I passed all of my classes,” said Tucker, 19. “There was one class that I struggled with. It was kind of a struggle towards the end of the semester. We weren’t really sure. But I passed all of my classes.”
Mims said it’s possible for players to pass all their classes but not be eligible.
Tucker, a freshman who was the team’s leading scorer until Sunday, will not play the rest of the season. Mims said Tucker can practice with the team, just not participate.
Tucker appealed at least one of his grades, Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter said in a news release.
“Since the conclusion of the first semester, Anthony has been involved in an appeal process concerning his academic course work,” Lickliter said. “We have been informed that the appeal process has been completed and Anthony is not eligible, by Big Ten Conference standards, to compete during the spring semester.”
Mims said it is up to the student to appeal a grade.
“Any time a student feels they did better than what the coursework may be, they have a right to ask questions about that coursework,” Mims said.
Tucker (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) started eight of 14 games this year. He was one of Iowa’s top scorers early in the season, shooting nearly 44 percent from the field, including 42.7 from 3-point range.
Tucker scored a season-high 24 points against West Virginia in Las Vegas earlier this season. He averaged 10.4 points and three rebounds per game. He scored in double figures in eight games.
When asked Tuesday if all of his players were eligible, Lickliter said, “I don’t deal in hypotheticals at all, so we’re going to wait and get the officials. They’re eligible until classes start (Tuesday afternoon). I haven’t heard anybody so I’ll just wait to hear and I’ll know for sure at the end of the day.”
Tucker’s ineligibility ends a sordid season for the talented freshman. He acquired mononucleosis in November and struggled with fatigue. He was found unconscious outside an Iowa City bar on Dec. 7 and taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He had a blood-alcohol level of .194 and was charged two days later with public intoxication. He pleaded guilty to the charge Dec. 15.
Lickliter suspended Tucker for 11 days, then reinstated him Dec. 18. Tucker scored 12 points against Drake on Dec. 20. Tucker then did not play Dec. 27.


BTN to feature Iowa’s Gatens

January 21, 2009


‘Big Ten Tip-Off Show’ Explores Gatens’ Hawkeye Roots

There was never any doubt that Iowa freshman guard Matt Gatens would become a Hawkeye. He grew up in Iowa City as the son of a former Iowa basketball letterman and former Iowa cheerleader and the brother of two former Iowa student-athletes.  Gatens verbally committed to the Iowa program while in the ninth grade.  Now, Gatens leads the Hawkeyes in scoring and the Big Ten in three-point shooting. At 5:30 PM ET on Saturday afternoon, the Big Ten Tip-Off Show will air a feature on Gatens and his Hawkeye DNA.  The feature immediately precedes Iowa’s road game at Penn State. Tom Hamilton and Greg Kelser will have the call.