Nelson Ruled Academically Ineligible

Just as the University of Tulsa is about to embark on the 2013 season the Golden Hurricane lose a star player. Four-year safety Demarco Nelson is ruled ineligible after failing to reach the NCAAA's Progress Towards Degree Requirements.

It's otherwise known as the 40-60-80 rule. A student-athlete has to complete 60-percent toward their degree by the beginning of their fourth year or they are deemed ineligible.

The University submitted an appeal Tuesday to try to have the ruling overturned.

Not having Nelson on the field for the Golden Hurricane is a big loss and hurts them in a couple of areas. For one, on the field performance is diminished, he is the second highest returning tackler on the team.

And secondly, it's a blow to the leadership of a defense that has only three returning starters. What helped last year's Tulsa defense was experience and without Nelson, linebackers Mitchell Osborne and Shawn Jackson will have to carry an extra load.

"One thing last year in having so many seniors on the defense was when we did face adversity we knew how to bounce back from it." said Jackson, "Overall we're a young defense so the leaders have to show the young guys that we don't have to panic. Just play the next play and play the next series."

Tulsa travels to face the Falcons of Bowling Green Thursday at 6:00pm on ESPNU.