Indiana accidentally gets freshman Fitzgerald ruled ineligible

Photo of Indiana accidentally gets freshman Fitzgerald ruled ineligible

Indiana safety Bryant Fitzgerald was ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA due to what the school is taking responsibility for as an error by its own compliance department.

"Bryant Fitzgerald is a smart, outstanding young man who is academically prepared and capable of being very successful at IU," athletic director Fred Glass said in a news release. "His ineligibility is not his fault. It is ours."

Fitzgerald, a true freshman, was expected to contribute to the Hoosiers in 2017, but is now barred from playing or practicing throughout the season.

In the news release, Indiana said its compliance staff mistakenly provided Fitzgerald with inaccurate advice regarding his eligibility requirements. The Hoosiers requested a waiver to restore Fitzgerald's eligibility at the beginning of August, but the NCAA denied it. The school then filed an appeal over the denial of the waiver request, but was again denied by the NCAA.

"Bryant should not have to bear the brunt of our mistake, and the NCAA could have, and should have, remedied that in the interest of this student's well-being, who is in this situation through absolutely no fault of his own," Glass said.

Fitzgerald joined the Hoosiers this offseason as a three-star recruit out of Avon, Ind.

The Hoosiers face Ohio State to open the season Aug. 31.

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