UK Men's Basketball

NCAA closes case on Eric Bledsoe transcript

The NCAA announced on Tuesday that it officially plans no further action regarding former Kentucky player Eric Bledsoe's academic records.

"On Monday, we reached out to Birmingham school district officials to officially confirm they do not plan to take any further action regarding Eric Bledsoe," NCAA spokesman Chuck Wynne wrote via e-mail. "They have just now confirmed that is the case. Based upon this response, the NCAA plans no further action. The original initial-eligibility decision stands."

The Birmingham City Schools attorney Afrika Parchman declared the matter closed Monday after an independent review made public on Friday found that some of Bledsoe's class grades had been changed. But the report did not make a judgment on Bledsoe's transcript. UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy declared the matter settled Friday night.

On Monday, the man who headed the review, former federal judge U.W. Clemon, lamented that many pertinent documents were not produced. None of the grade books from Bledsoe's 11th-grade year at Birmingham's now defunct Hayes High was made available nor were nine of the 15 grade books from Bledsoe's senior year at Parker High.

"It was a significant barrier to reaching a complete conclusion," Clemon said.

A story in The New York Times earlier this year raised questions about Bledsoe's high school transcript and the Parker High School coach's actions in the recruiting process.

The player's grades rose dramatically when he transferred from Hayes High School to another school in his native Birmingham, Ala., Parker High, according to reports in The Times and The Birmingham News.

The Birmingham News reported on Sept. 14 that conflicting grades recorded on Bledsoe's transcript and a night-school grade report in Algebra 3 called into question whether he should have been eligible to play for UK. If the NCAA had retroactively ruled Bledsoe ineligible, such a judgment would have opened the possibility of Kentucky being ordered to vacate the 34 victories in which Bledsoe participated last season.

The Birmingham City Schools commissioned an independent review of Bledsoe's transcript. That review was made public on Friday in the form of a four-page report.

Superintendent Craig Witherspoon ruled that there was not enough evidence to invalidate Bledsoe's transcript.

Alan Milstein, a New Jersey-based attorney representing Bledsoe, welcomed the news while deriding the notion that the NCAA had "dropped" the case.

"I didn't know they picked it up," he said. "I don't think anybody's algebra grade has ever been reviewed as Eric's has been.

"He's come a long way from Birmingham, Ala., to Los Angeles, Calif., and it's only up from here."

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader