One of the most interesting freshmen in college basketball is a guy named Tacko.
Tacko Fall, who is enrolled at Central Florida, stands very tall. The curious prospect stands at 7 foot-6. He’s been an internet sensation over the past 18 months. But his story isn’t so feel-good at the moment. Fall is on a list he’d rather not be part of at the moment: players still awaiting eligibility clearance from the NCAA. He’s huddling with the ranks of Kansas five-star freshman Cheick Diallo among those still waiting on an OK to play from the monolith in Indianapolis.
Now, a report from ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman on Tuesday states Fall is prepared to sue the NCAA.
This doesn’t appear to be a typical eligibility case. (Though, when are they ever?) Fall’s reported combined GPA for his junior and senior years at Florida-based Liberty Christian Preparatory School: 3.6. That soars past the bar. Yet Fall is still seeking clearance for an academic waiver. What’s the holdup here?
Liberty Christian Prep, in fact. The NCAA has its doubts about the legitimacy of the instutition and doesn’t consider it be certified. So now Fall is lawyering up in an effort to combat the NCAA’s practices. Via ESPN:
“He will be represented,” Amanda Wettstein, who has been Fall’s guardian for the past two years, told ESPN. “This just isn’t right.”
Wettstein has been Fall’s guardian since he arrived at Liberty Christian Preparatory School [Tavares, Florida] two years ago. She told ESPN that Liberty Christian, which has been in existence for 25 years, has been placed under an extended evaluation status by the NCAA for a minimum of two full academic certification cycles. The NCAA informed Central Florida on Friday that it is only accepting 7 1/2 of his core courses. It also told UCF that Fall is no longer allowed to practice with the team.
According to Wettstein, the calculus, chemistry and “other courses in which he excelled” are not being accepted by the NCAA at the moment.
The irony in all this: A 7-6 kid from Senegal has dreams not of being a pro basketball player, but of being a computer engineer. According to ESPN.com’s story, Fall even sends some of his own stipend money from UCF back home to his family in Senegal so his younger brother can pay to attend school in the west African nation. Fall has been living on United States soil for 25 months. He initially had issues landing at the right high school that would allow him to also play basketball, and that in part could be delaying his elgibility with the NCAA, too.
As always, the NCAA does not offer comment amid ongoing cases of player eligibility.