Skip to comments.Duke rejects application of Blair Holliday to return as student.
Posted on 01/12/2013 9:51:03 AM PST by abb
Blair Holliday 15, the promising wide receiver for Duke football who was in a near-fatal water ski accident last July 4th and who has made a miraculous recovery, has hit a brutal, unexpected bump: DukeCheck has learned that Duke University rejected his application to return this semester as a student.
Before the accident, Holliday maintained a 3.75 grade point average, majoring in psychology. His doctors had cleared him to return.
Beyond that, Holliday had an invitation from Head Coach David Cutcliffe and wide receivers coach Matt Lubick great supporters during Hollidays recovery period to return to the football field, not as a player which is still impossible, but to help coach the wide receivers. It would seem reasonable to conclude, that the head coach and staff supported Hollidays re-admission and were comfortable that it was a good move for him.
And a lift for the team. Every player displayed Hollidays #8 during the season just ended.
holliday blair official photoHolliday, who had returned to his hometown in Southern California for Christmas, got the rejection notice while there. It put a pall over a family reunion: his mother who had been at his side in a rehab facility in Atlanta, his father who had remained at home for work, and his two younger brothers.
He was really disappointed. He tried to not get out of bed, but I made him, Hollidays mother said. He wanted to get back into school and get back to a normal life around his friends. His doctor at Shepherd Center (rehab center) was 100 percent behind him doing it
We have asked the mouthpiece for the Brodhead Administration, Michael Schoenfeld, for an explanation, but expect to be told that federal privacy law prohibits the University from such disclosures, if His Highness the Vice President even gives us the courtesy of any reply. We have indications that Holliday would waive any privacy protection, but we expect Duke to balk even if that is the case.
Federal law does allow Duke to discuss its admissions policies, and we asked Schoenfeld for this information. He owes this much to every Dukie who ever said a prayer for Holliday, which his mother credits for his recovery. He owes it to the volleyball players Jeme Obeime and Maggie Deichmeister, who spent hours by Hollidays hospital bed stroking his hands and talking to him to keep the pressure inside his skull down. And he owes it to Hollidays roommate, David Helton, who would read aloud from The Great Gatsby because he remembered Holliday saying he liked the book.
But you know what: these heroes will get splattered by the current Administration of Duke. Watch them fumble.
There is no immediate reaction from Coach Cutcliffe, who has been a visible and strong supporter of Holliday, seeing him often during the critical care portion of his recovery at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill and assembling a delegation to fly on his private jet to Georgia just before the first game of the season. Cutcliffe even mentioned Holliday after the Belk Bowl loss, saying it had been a tough year for Duke football; Cutcliffe, who earlier in a news conference with sportswriters showed little emotion, seemed close to tears.
Hollidays physical condition continues to improve. He has been on the Duke campus and to at least one football game as a fan. He has passed a drivers license coordination test with a 100 percent score. He is running. He is lifting weights. And he is even talking about returning to playing football; while that goal seems far off, the recovery that he has shown in little more than six months also once seemed impossible.
Only one possible scenario I can think of: They felt it's too soon, medically, for him to come back...it is possible to have medical differences of opinion.
OTOH, I hope that the kid sues Duke for violating the ADA ( Americans with Disabilities Act) Gotta believe there are pletyt of attys eager to file that lawsuit..
Probably Duke protecting itself from potential lawsuits related to head injuries.
...Holliday’s father realizes people may question why his son wants to return to a sport where head injuries and concussions have become a hot topic of debate.
“I know there is risk involved and he understands that, but I have no fear he can compete at a very high level,” Rick Holliday said. “I just want him to have the opportunity to experience college life the way he chose and get on the field and perform. This whole ordeal really just gives you even more hope and faith that he can get back.”
If he can’t return to the field as a player, Holliday has another option in mind.
“The coaches have invited me to help coach the wide receivers,” Holliday said. “I would probably do that because I don’t want to just get rid of football completely in my life.”
How much did they pay the LaCrosse players?
Lawsuits are still ongoing, moving at a glacial pace.
If they are like the typical university, they only care about money. They likely only admitted him in the first place because he was a talented wide receiver who would bring in football money. Otherwise, he is just like any other NOC (”nobody on campus”).
And a 3.75 GPA is low end for a student at Duke, unless he was making them money.
The difference between university administrators and used car salesmen is that the latter groups suits’ are a lot cheaper and actually look good on them. Administrators pay 5 times as much for an ugly suit that doesn’t fit, but has a designer label.
I saw this from afar in my college years, a student athlete in my dorm got in a car accident. The ADA has a Leave of Absence clause that Duke seems to be in absolute violation of the letter and intent of the law here. Guy in my dorm was able to return after 10 months of traction and rehab and the whole experience of that tragedy.
If this young man is running and lifting weights there is no wiggle room for the university, the only exception universities have is if a student would require retrofitting of facilities to enable attendance or boarding, for students returning from the ADA Leave of Absence period. This is obviously not the case here.
The other crutch is financial, but really, if they went down this road to deny the application they are going to get destroyed in the media and the courtroom if the young man gets a good legal team.
I have a hard time understanding all of this. Was his acceptance at Duke in the first place conditional on him playing football? While a 3.75 may be “on the low end” for Duke, it seems to me hardly grounds for academic dismissal.
Was he on a full ride scholarship? Perhaps they rejected his application for a continued football scholarship which if he can’t play football, I could understand. If however him and his family were paying tuition, it seems strange that they wouldn’t let him return to an academic career at Duke.
If someone understands this better than I do please let me know.
Coach K just got beat by the Wolfpack, so at least we have that.
I lost almost all respect I had for him, which was considerable, because he just hunkered down and didn’t speak up for the lacrosse players.
The most recent data I can find for an average Duke undergraduate GPA is a 3.44. That's from gradeinflation.com
If Holliday had a 3.75 he was doing better than half of the undergraduates at Duke. I'd look for an explanation other than poor academic performance.
Make that Dickhead is still the president of Duke.
I found this article on a blog from the Raleigh News Observer that implies that he is on a scholarship. The article states that Holliday had received scholarship offers from other schools, though the article doesn’t flat out state that he was offered a scholarship from Duke.
I assume that Duke’s decision was due to money. They do not want to pay for a scholarship for the rest of the young man’s college career if he cannot play football for them.
Not sure how Duke does it, but at least some schools will continue the scholarship (as non-athletic) if a recruit suffers a non-sports injury that renders the student unable to compete.
Thanks so much. That makes sense to me. While it may be an unpopular decision, I can understand it. I imagine that schools only have so much scholarship money available, but maybe I’m wrong about that.
Only so much athletic scholarship money. If they wanted to, they could find a way for him to come back as a student.