Ball State gives recruit a second chance

High school guard Jesse Berry has been ruled eligible by the NCAA clearinghouse after retaking courses and is set to sign with Ball State, according to the Indianapolis Star.

For Berry, the signing would mark a second-chance opportunity after Dayton released him from a signed national letter of intent due to both academic and legal troubles.

From The Star:

Despite his prodigious talent -- Berry averaged 27.3 points as a junior and 23.2 as a senior and is Tippecanoe County's all-time leading scorer -- off-the-court problems and poor grades resulted in him parting ways with Dayton, the program he'd originally signed with in November.

According to records obtained by the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Berry was arrested once on a shoplifting charge and again in April on battery causing bodily injury, although no charges were filed in the second incident.

"I really messed up," Berry said. "But I keep thinking everything happens for a reason. College is a chance to start a new life and start over."

Berry's signing would come the same summer an AAU coach complained to the Peoria State Journal about the program denying admission to high school guard Marvin Jordan in order to get out of his signed national letter of intent.

Jordan is an NCAA qualifier and now headed to Niagara. Ball State coach Billy Taylor told the paper that Jordan's admission was denied in April based on his grades up to that point. Taylor said he didn't believe Jordan's academics would allow him to qualify. Taylor added that the school's admissions standards are tougher than the NCAA's standards.

Meanwhile, according to The Star Press, Ball State stuck with the unsigned Berry while he retook two classes during the summer in order to gain NCAA clearance.