Cal State Fullerton tailback Michael Pringle must sit out this week’s game against New Mexico State but will be eligible for the final 3 games of the season, the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. told Fullerton Thursday.
The NCAA ruling was in response to Fullerton’s appeal after Pringle was ruled ineligible last week before the Titans’ game against Cal State Long Beach.
Pringle, a 5-foot 10-inch, 185-pound junior who has averaged 47.4 yards in 5 games, played 2 games for Washington State last season before sustaining an injury and withdrawing from school. He later enrolled at Glendale College, where he earned a degree before coming to Fullerton.
Fullerton athletic department officials who declared Pringle eligible before the season were unaware that Pringle had played last year, even though football coaches were aware of it and the information was printed in the Titans’ football guide.
Although transfers who earned community-college degrees are eligible to play without sitting out, a player is required to sit out a calendar year after playing at another 4-year school. Pringle is now required to sit out 2 games, as he should have at the start of the season, according to the NCAA.
“We’re happy it’s finally resolved,” Fullerton Coach Gene Murphy said. “The good news is he’ll be ready for Akron (Oct. 29).”
Though Big West Conference Commissioner Jim Haney said the incident will be reviewed by a conference committee, no further action is expected.
“I feel bad for Michael Pringle that he is being punished even though he didn’t do anything wrong,” Murphy said. “I took it for granted that (school officials) knew he had played football (at Washington State). We certainly weren’t trying to play any games.”