By Anne McNamara
Syracuse attackman Cody Jamieson has remained ineligible this season because of an unresolved waiver request to the NCAA regarding an online class he took during winter break at Cayuga Community College for college credit at SU, Inside Lacrosse has learned.
NCAA bylaws state that students who take an online course at an outside school can be enrolled full-time at their home school, but may not necessarily be athletically eligible because a certain amount of credit hours must be completed at the student’s home school. Citing privacy laws, Syracuse’s compliance office declined comment on Jamieson’s situation, including whether the aforementioned bylaw applies to his case.
The NCAA cleared Jamieson to practice with the Orange on Jan. 16, but he remains limited to the sidelines as he waits to hear about his eligibility. The NCAA must grant a waiver for Jamieson before he can play in any games.
Cayuga’s registrar’s office in Auburn, N.Y. confirmed Jamieson was enrolled at the school from Jan. 2 to Jan. 18.
The nature, location and timeframe of the class are the latest developments in Jamieson’s lengthy transfer process from Onondaga Community College to Syracuse. It has left the lacrosse world wondering what impact the 2007 JUCO Male Athlete of the Year and 2008 NLLInsider.com Junior A Player of the Year could have on the field for SU after sparking OCC to two undefeated national championships in ’06 and ’07.
Jamieson also led the Ontario Lacrosse Association with nearly 200 points in less than 40 games with Six Nations last summer.
“I thought it was going to be easy just like every other transfer I have ever heard about,” said Jamieson, who led junior college in points (116), goals (65) and assists (51) in ’07. “Playing at OCC, a lot of guys went a lot of places and I didn’t really hear any little mishaps like I have to go through, but it has to happen to somebody.”
In situations involving online credit from outside institutions, NCAA schools can request waivers from the Progress-Toward-Degree Waiver Committee. If granted, the waiver would allow the credit to count toward eligibility. SU coach John Desko acknowledged this week that a waiver request process was initiated. It remains unclear, however, if the Progress-Toward-Degree waiver is the type of waiver Jamieson needs to become eligible.
“Cody, when he enrolled here, was not eligible,” Desko said. “So, he’s not eligible. I think that he had done some things to try and achieve eligibility and that’s what’s in the process of [the Compliance office] asking the NCAA for a waiver now.”
Jamieson graduated from OCC late last summer and found that it was too far into the fall semester to become a full-time student at Syracuse. As a result, he took classes at SU as a part-time student in the fall before enrolling as a full-time student at the start of the spring semester in January. Desko said Jamieson took the class at Cayuga to acquire enough credits to become eligible to play this season.
NCAA bylaws further state that transfers may use credit hours from online classes completed at an outside institution to satisfy core requirements but not to fulfill the percentage-of-degree requirements at the home institution.
The percentage-of-degree requirement states that a student in the third year of enrollment must complete 40 percent of the course requirements in the student’s specific degree program. Students in fourth and fifth years of enrollment must complete 60 percent and 80 percent of the requirements in the specific program, respectively.
Jamieson is currently listed on the school’s athletic website as a junior majoring in communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. It remains unclear whether Jamieson’s eligibility is being held back by the percentage-of-degree requirement.
OCC coach Chuck Wilbur had 13 players from his 2008 class transfer to other institutions. Wilbur helped Sid Smith (OCC ’06) transfer to Syracuse for the 2007-08 school year. Smith, a preseason first-team All-American close defenseman for the Orange, is Jamieson’s roommate and a fellow Six Nations, Ont., native.
“It was the same process that Sid and everyone else did,” Wilbur said. “Cody had great grades at OCC. He graduated, was a great student, and did really well there, and I think it was more of the online classes that became the issue.”
Instead of filling in the void at attack left by 2008 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Mike Leveille, Jamieson can only play the waiting game. He maintains, however, that he would stay at Syracuse regardless of the NCAA’s ruling.
“School is probably the No. 1 thing. Just playing lacrosse here would be that much better, but I get to practice and everything with the team and I’ve got to get my degree somehow,” Jamieson said.
Wilbur said Jamieson has another motive for staying at Syracuse.
“The thing about Cody, Sid and [OCC stars and former IL Top 5 recruits Jeremy and Jerome Thompson] is they’re trying to be the stepping stones for Native American kids going to college,” Wilbur said. “It’s not just about themselves. It’s about the youth and the Native Americans.”
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