Indiana U. apologizes to freshman DB Bryant Fitzgerald for eligibility mistake

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has apologized to defensive back Bryant Fitzgerald for a mistake that will cost the freshman his first year of eligibility.

In a statement issued Saturday, athletic director Fred Glass acknowledged the school's compliance office failed to properly advise Fitzgerald of his eligibility requirements.

"Bryant Fitzgerald is a smart, outstanding young man who is academically prepared and capable of being very successful at IU," Glass said. "His ineligibility is not his fault. It is ours. On behalf of myself and everyone associated with IU Athletics, I personally apologize to Bryant and his family for our mistake. While it was an isolated and unintended one, it is no less devastating to Bryant, and I could not feel worse about it."

Indiana appealed to the NCAA on Aug. 3. It was denied Friday.

Glass also said the school has changed the process to ensure a similar mistake will not occur in the future. He also criticized the NCAA for not granting the waiver when it "could have and should have."

Fitzgerald, a defensive back, will remain on full scholarship and will receive all student-athlete services but, as a non-qualifier, cannot play in games or practice this season.

In a tweet Saturday, Fitzgerald reacted positively to what happened.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.