An eligibility snag tripped up the Indians' defensive back.
By Marty Mishow ~ Southeast Missourian
Southeast Missouri State University football coach Tim Billings said Thursday prized junior college recruit Charles McCoy will not suit up for the Indians this season.
University officials had been saying that the problem regarding McCoy's eligibility stemmed from Santa Monica (Calif.) Community College officials being slow in sending his transcript to Southeast.
But, as the 0-2 Indians prepare for Saturday's game at Central Michigan, Billings said that there is more to it than that.
According to Billings, McCoy was given incorrect information by his advisor at Santa Monica about what type of algebra class to take in order to graduate with an associate of arts degree, which is needed for NCAA Division I eligibility.
Billings said McCoy did fine in the class and appeared to be in good standing to play for the Indians. However, it was later determined by Santa Monica officials that a higher level of algebra class was necessary to obtain his associate of arts degree.
Billings said various administrators at Santa Monica tried to get the class McCoy took approved for his associate's degree, since he had been inaccurately advised.
"His advisor put him in the wrong class. As far as Charles was concerned, it was the right class," Billings said. "It has nothing to do with our university, nothing to do with him. It couldn't have been foreseen.
"The head coach out there was trying to keep us in the dark a little bit until he was able to kind of sort everything out."
McCoy, a cornerback, had also been recruited by Southern California and Nebraska. Billings said McCoy will be able to redshirt and will still have two years of eligibility remaining.
"It's a tough deal. He's upset and so are we, but there's nothing you can do. He did everything he was supposed to do, he was just asked to do the wrong thing," Billings said.
Dunaway will see action
True freshman Mark Dunaway, a Cape Girardeau Central High School product, has been in uniform for the Indians' first two games but saw no action, as Southeast coaches contemplated redshirting him.
But Billings said Dunaway will definitely play Saturday at Central Michigan. He will replace Chaun Tate as the nickel back -- or fifth defensive back -- in potential passing situations.
Tate has been suspended for Saturday's game because of an unspecified violation of team rules.
"We were thinking about redshirting Mark, but he has done well in practice. He's really stepped it up in practice," Billings said. "He's going to be a really good player for us, and we'll see what he can do this week.
"He'll be in and out, depending on what personnel they have in, and down and distance, things like that."
Tate is the third Southeast player to receive a one-game suspension this season, but Billings said he is not alarmed.
"Most programs, with what they did, those three wouldn't have been suspended," he said. "We have high standards here and this is just something that happens. I'm not concerned."