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Mc Clellan re-appeals academic ineligibility

Jawann McClellan
By Roman Veytsman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
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Sophomore guard Jawann McClellan will play in the Arizona men's basketball team's Pepsi Red-Blue Game tomorrow, and he could return for the Wildcats' first exhibition game Nov. 9 against Sonoma State.

He added that a lawyer acting on his behalf has made a second appeal to restore his academic eligibility for the fall semester, which if successful would allow him to play in Arizona's first seven games of the season, including the season-opening EA Sports Maui Invitational in Hawaii from Nov. 21-23.

The results of the appeal will be known Tuesday.

"I'm glad to be back playing, and hopefully I'll be back playing for real," McClellan said. He said Wildcats head coach Lute Olson told him last week that the lawyer filed the appeal.

"Whatever happens, happens," McClellan said. "I hope they grant me eligibility, but (the process) is not something I'm looking forward to."

For McClellan to have been academically eligible this semester, he needed to have completed 24 units before the school year began.

McClellan had 20 units done before he took a summer-session math class, but couldn't pass the course because he said he was grieving the June death of his father, George.

"It's still about my daddy. The only reason I came back this summer was to get those four units out the way and finish my course," McClellan said. "Half of it is that, and half of it is they looked at my second-semester grades."

McClellan said he practiced with the team for the first time on Monday, about a week and a half after doctors told him to cease playing to nurse a nagging ankle injury.

McClellan said his rehabilitation will depend on the appeal's outcome.

"I'm ready right now. I can play with it," he said. "The doctors are just taking precautionary reasoning. I didn't really have to sit out. I couldn't play on it at first, but when they sat me out last time ... I could play, but they just didn't want me to.

"If I'm not eligible, there's no reason to rush me back right now."

McClellan said he has numerous bone spurs in his ankles, resulting from ankles, resulting from a sprain he suffered during the team's Elite Eight loss to Illinois on March 26 and an injury he suffered playing high school football. Doctors told him extra bones grew in his right ankle in reaction to the sprain.

McClellan said he may need surgery but will not go under the knife if surgery isn't necessary. A procedure to remove the bone spurs would require only a week's absence, he said, adding that he would take care of the problem after the upcoming season.

Having surgery before the season is completely out of the question, McClellan said, shaking his head.

"I'm not redshirting," he said. "I can't redshirt."

McClellan said he understands that the injury will not go away on its own, and that he will have to play through pain all season long.

He went through a full-contact practice Monday but sat himself out of some drills.

"I didn't want to flare it up," he said. "It's sore right now. ... I did very well, but I have to take it one day at a time and ease my way back in."

McClellan's mother will be in Tucson for tomorrow's game, so he asked Olson if he could participate.

"I don't have any goals. I'm just happy to get out there," McClellan said. "I'm not looking to play that much. My mom is coming to town, so that's the only reason I told coach Olson I'd go ahead and play. I feel good right now. I just want to go out there and have fun right now, to tell you the truth."

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