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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.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 28, 2009; 7:32 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Defensive Relapse


English is hard. Just hope he wasn't picking up tips from Vasquez's talks with the fans.
It's probably best this kid not get tainted any more with the train wreck of this year's team. Let him practice and improve and get more adjusted. Considering he didn't get cleared to play with the team until late, I'm surprised they didn't just redshirt him. I guess Williams knew they needed all the help he could get in terms of some shooters. Just keep the kid practicing his shots, studying the books, and please, hit the weight room.

Posted by: doh1 | January 28, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's too bad that this is happening to him. I hope it works out well for Kim. He and Dave Neal are real fan favorites on campus.

Posted by: golfguru | January 28, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Let me understand this: he was taking two courses in a special program in the fall semester and only passed one?

Now the failed course result is being disputed because the p/f criterium was unfair?

Was he taking other courses? If his English is so weak, how did he do in other courses?

Clearly, this guy is at Maryland as a professional BB player. He doesn't appear to be able to handle anything like a normal academic curriculum.

Where am I going wrong here?

Posted by: petecard | January 29, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Just so people know.
ACC Records
2007-2008 2006-2007 2005-2006 2004-2005 Total Rank
North Carolina .875 .688 .750 .875 .797 1
Duke .813 .500 .875 .688 .719 2
Boston College .250 .625 .688 .521 3
Maryland .500 .625 .500 .438 .516 4
Virginia Tech .563 .625 .250 .500 .484 5
Clemson .625 .438 .438 .313 .453 6
Wake Forest .438 .313 .188 .813 .438 7
Florida State .438 .438 .563 .250 .422 8
Georgia Tech .438 .500 .250 .500 .422 8
Virginia .313 .688 .438 .250 .422 8
Miami (FL) .500 .250 .438 .438 .406 11
North Carolina State .250 .313 .625 .438 .406 11

Posted by: Lee26 | January 29, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

What is someone, whose English proficiency level is rated as "intermediate", doing enrolled in a university? Why isn't he at a community college where they can support his low level?

Answer? Because he is a basketball player.

Posted by: MKadyman | January 29, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Everyone who is on here going on about why is he at college if he can't speak english should be ashamed of themselves. A major university, and not a community college - Mkadyman - is a much better place to learn english as it has a more robust program and more non-english speaking students (no one from korea is going to come to america and enroll at Cate State). and for you, petecard - this kid is going through something much more rigorous than a "normal" cirriculum - which typically includes rocks for jocks, intro to long division, and spanish 101. So don't get on this kid's case. he was shooting freaking 20% from the floor - so his basketball abilities were certainly not our number 1 concern. its comments like that, that make americans seem crass to foreigners, by the way.

Posted by: sindlah | January 29, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Thanks sindlah. The ignorance shown above is certainly not the views of the Alumni age 35 and under. Kim is engaged in a curriculum more challenging than 85% of the general student population right now and practicing full time with the team. Over 70% (raw score by the way) and a 68% isn't the greatest thing in the world but is probably more admirable than what 75% of first semester freshman accomplish. Get a clue.

Posted by: Lee26 | January 29, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, all the folks criticizing Kim should think about how they would perform if they went to France or Germany and tried to take University level classes that weren't taught in English. Yeesh.

Posted by: xfreestater | January 29, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Where's KSA (Korean Students Association) in all this. From what I remember, there's a pretty sizable Korean student population on campus. We can't find this kid a tutor?

Posted by: ptp_er | January 29, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"...which typically includes rocks for jocks
Posted by: sindlah | January 29, 2009 9:52 AM

as a working geologist of 20 years, who got my start with a 101 geology course at MC, i find this deeply matter how true it may be.

Posted by: mdrockjock | January 29, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The bigger issue is - why did Gary even recruit this kid? He doesn't seem to have any semblance of talent, athleticism, OR heart. I bet even Hayes could beat him in one-on-one, and Hayes shouldn't even be starting for most D-3 schools I know.

Posted by: prodiggy3 | January 29, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"deeply offensive"?
Gimme a break.

Posted by: JNooch | January 29, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't the kid just declared eligible to play a few months back?

Posted by: oknow1 | January 29, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"He doesn't seem to have any semblance of talent, athleticism, OR heart." Uh what? The kid is very raw but gets after the boards and blocks shots at a pretty good rate when he is in the game. Later hater.

Posted by: Lee26 | January 29, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Sindlah, thanks for your comments but you didnt answer my questions.

I am not faulting anyone for struggling with learning a new language in an academic environment and I did not comment about the athlete's curriculum you characterized.

But, why should someone with his academic struggles be playing a major sport?

Is he taking a full course load? C'mon, Sindlah, you are so quick to criticize reasonable questions...

Posted by: petecard | January 30, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"deeply offensive"?
Gimme a break.

Posted by: JNooch | January 29, 2009 4:36 PM

since you didn't read on, or didn't get it, the remainder of my statement "no matter how true it may be" was intended as self-deprecating humor.
which brings to mind that other cliche i detest...
Dumb as a rock!

Posted by: mdrockjock | January 30, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

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