Kim Ineligibility Details
Maryland is conducting an internal review of the decision to declare freshman forward Jin Soo Kim academically ineligible, according to a source familiar with the situation. The source, who wished to remain anonymous because the appeal process is ongoing, said Kim passed one of the two classes he was allowed to take during the fall semester through the University of Maryland English Institute, a program for students for whom English is a second language.
In order to pass his classes, Kim had to obtain a 70 percent or higher on the final exam, in addition to performing well on a semester-concluding placement exam, according to the source. Freshmen enrolled in the UMEI take placement exams at the beginning and end of their first semester in order to gage their progress with English proficiency.
Kim scored a 68 in the class he did not pass, despite performing well on the final placement exam, according to the source. Kim registered at placement level one at the beginning of the semester and at placement level five at the end of the semester, the source said.
"It's not like he didn't work hard," the source said. The UMEI "has a different curriculum, a different rating policy. That's the uphill battle (Kim) is fighting."
The source, who described Kim's English proficiency level as "intermediate at best," said Kim will not receive credit for either of the classes he took because he did not pass both. However, Kim's performance on the final placement exam made him eligible to begin taking courses outside of the UMEI, according to the source.
Kim is appealing the decision, according to the source, on the grounds that a 68 is a 'D' in courses outside the UMEI, which means he would have passed the class in question had he been taking a regular class. The appeal of the program's grading policy, as well as the appeal at the NCAA level, should be heard and decided upon within two weeks, the source said.
"Gary (Williams) has been very, very supportive," the source said, referring to the Maryland men's basketball coach. "He's been sympathetic of Jin Soo's situation since day one."
The athletic department announced that Kim had been declared academically ineligible in a press release about an hour before Tuesday night's game against Boston College. Kim will be able to practice with the team during the appeal process, but he will not be able to compete in games. The statement declared that the university will not release any specific details regarding Kim's academic status in compliance with the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act.
"I really don't want to get into that," Williams said after Tuesday night's game. "As you know, he was in a program for kids whose English is their second language. You know, he's working hard. I thought he did a pretty good job with the course, but obviously not well enough, so he's here; he's practicing. He just can't play in the games. So wherever he was playing, he was playing four or five minutes a game, now we don't have him for those four or five minutes."
Kim, a 6-foot-7 small forward, was expected to provide a long-range shooting presence for the Terps this season. He has played in 15 games this season, averaging 6.8 minutes, 1.7 points and 1.2 rebounds per appearance. He was shooting 29.0 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from three-point range.
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