A local student-athlete finally reached her goals of earning a Division I scholarship, only to find out the NCAA doesn’t think her high school meets its standards.
Jasmine Newman attended Public Safety Academy, a Capital Region Education Council (CREC) school in Enfield. Upon graduating, Newman’s ambitions included becoming a forensic psychologist while continuing her first passion: bowling.
“That was the one sport I actually loved and I felt like I was actually pretty good at,” said Newman.
So when Newman got a call from Coppin State University in Maryland offering her a $10,000 scholarship, she thought she had it all.
“I was overwhelmed,” said Newman. “I didn’t know someone would want me that bad to have me play on their team.”
She committed to Coppin State almost a year ago and was all set to join the team this fall. Then, back in June, her dad did some research and saw a major red flag.
Newman’s dad, Jose Gee, looked up her high school on the NCAA Clearinghouse website, and saw Public Safety Academy listed as not meeting NCAA standards. He says he immediately called Newman’s guidance counselor at PSA, but it wasn’t brought to CREC’s attention until mid-August.
“It was just a shock,” said Gee. “I mean, we got a call one week before she’s supposed to go to school, you know, to report there, telling us the money you thought you had is no longer there.”
As a result, Jasmine lost her scholarship and she wasn’t even sure if her high school classes counted.
CREC declined an on-camera interview; however, it did admit fault. Representatives told the Troubleshooters the problem was a filing issue. Public Safety Academy accidentally filled out the wrong paperwork when they applied for NCAA eligibility.
CREC is confident it curriculum meets NCAA standards, and sent us a statement, which reads, in part:
“Our students and families are our first priority, and we deeply regret that this error resulted in stress and confusion for a CREC family. We have provided financial support through a scholarship fund to ensure that there is no financial impact on the family.”
CREC covered the cost of the scholarship Jasmine lost and appealed the NCAA’s decision in hopes of earning eligibility. However, the NCAA’s review process could take weeks.
“We wouldn’t even be at this point if they had acted sooner,” said Gee. “Because then it wouldn’t be going through an appeals process. It would’ve already gone through.”
Gee wishes PSA acted sooner by checking its NCAA eligibility online before it became a pressing issue.
You can check your high school’s NCAA eligibility by navigating to www.eligibilitycenter.org, clicking “College Bound Student-Athletes,” then “Resources,” “U.S. Students,” and “List of NCAA Courses.”
If PSA’s appeal doesn’t go through by the time bowling season starts in October, Newman might not get to bowl until next year.
The Troubleshooters also reached out to the NCAA and Coppin State University for a comment, but they did not get back to us.
“I’m trying to stay as optimistic as I can,” said Newman.
Newman brought that optimism with her all the way to Coppin State. She started classes there this week and took one step closer to pursuing a career in forensic psychology, all the while hoping the best of her bowling career is still ahead.