All-America running back Byron Hanspard and lineman Casey Jones completed last fall's semester at Texas Tech University without passing a single course, the Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.
Hanspard, who rushed for 2,084 yards and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back, finished the semester with a grade-point average of 0.00, the Chronicle said, citing unidentified sources.A day after Tech's 27-0 loss to Iowa in the Alamo Bowl, Hanspard - a junior - announced he would make himself eligible for the 1997 NFL draft.
Jones, a senior offensive lineman, also posted a 0.00 GPA last fall, the Chronicle said.
Jones was ruled ineligible at the beginning of the season, but was able to play in the Red Raiders' final six games after obtaining a series of court orders blocking the ruling.
The Tech football program has been under scrutiny from the NCAA for more than a year. Some Tech faculty members have voiced concerns over players missing classes or expecting special treatment.
When contacted Sunday at his home, coach Spike Dykes told The Associated Press he could not confirm whether the players failed coursework last fall.
"I really can't comment on that because that's information that's not supposed to be, it's supposed to be private," Dykes said.
When asked if the GPAs of Hanspard and Jones concerned him or whether Tech should be doing more to ensure that student athletes are really students, Dykes said eligibility under NCAA rules was his only concern.
Under NCAA rules, a player who fails all his classes during a fall semester can participate in a bowl as long as he remained enrolled in at least 12 hours, the NCAA's minimum standard for a full-time student, during the semester.
"I think what concerns me is if you're eligible to participate, you're eligible. If you're not eligible, you're not. To me that's as far as it goes," he said.
Tech's rules are no different than any other college overseen by the NCAA, Dykes said.