Derrick Jones entered his freshman season at UNLV as an uber-hyped prospect capable of possibly jumping to the NBA after his first year on campus. Now that appears the only avenue open to him, as the NCAA has declared him ineligible after his test score was canceled by the ACT. Jones’ lawyer Don Jackson has since claimed the ruling by the ACT was racially motivated.
Jackson says Jones’ test was flagged by the NCAA eight months ago and he was given the option to re-take the test, go to arbitration or throw the score out completely. Jackson believes Jones shouldn’t have to do any of those because he achieved a qualifying score.
Derrick didn’t do anything wrong. There’s no evidence of academic fraud. They don’t have anything. It’s not as if his test score made a huge jump. He got the score and it was the only time he took the test.
The NCAA cleared Jones before UNLV’s first game of the season, but the organization’s Eligibility Center asked the ACT to look into several of the tests taken by athletes at a testing site in Baltimore. Jones has reportedly maintained a 3.25 GPA at UNLV and hasn’t heard from anyone at the ACT or the NCAA during the investigation.
Jackson is not pleased by the ruling and dropped some bombs in an interview:
These investigations have a racial motivation. They go after African Americans and international student-athletes.
UNLV will file a waiver in an attempt to get Jones eligible for the rest of the season, but that doesn’t appear likely to work.
Jones has averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 30 games as a freshman. He is a super athlete at small forward who does need a lot of polish but could blow up at the NBA Scouting Combine.
Sadly, we’re unlikely to see Jones play in a college basketball game again.