After a lengthy review process, the NCAA informed Texas Longhorns tight end signee Devonaire Clarington that he will have to retake the ACT in order to gain his eligibility, Clarington told ESPN's Max Olson on Wednesday.
Head coach Charlie Strong said on Tuesday that he expected a decision to come down from the governing body this week and despite some optimism on the Texas side, it was not positive news for the Longhorns.
Despite some reports late last week that the hold up came from the Texas side, Strong said that "everything is good" with the university. However, ACT administrators didn't feel the same way after the NCAA flagged Clarington's ACT score of 26 as out of line with his academic performance in the classroom.
To provide some context for that result, the average at Texas for students admitted is 29, but the average composite score for Florida students is only 19.6, and Clarington allegedly experienced academic issues early in high school that put his eventual eligibility into significant question.
The earliest ACT that Clarington could take in the Miami area is on September 12, exactly a week after the season opener against Notre Dame and one day after the deadline to add or drop a class at Texas. And clearly there would be a significant review process even after the testing results come in. So Clarington now has some important decisions to make about his future, but Orangebloods' Jason Suchomel is reporting that he wants to attend prep school and attempt to enroll at Texas in the spring.
Unfortunately, the odds of any prospect ending up at the school they signed with after experiencing academic difficulties isn't particulary high, though Clarington did say that he does want to enroll at Texas no matter what happens.
Re taking the ACT. Wish me luck What ever happens I'm still a longhorn #HookEm— The beat go off? (@dev_go_deep) August 19, 2015
The further good news is that Strong does have a track record in this area after placing safety Gerod Holliman at a prep school in 2011 and then getting him enrolled at Louisville the next year.
With some luck and some diligence from Clarington, perhaps the same thing could happen here. And at least he's no longer in limbo.