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Additional resources for A Season in Purgatory: Villanova and Life in College Football's Lower Class
No matter how much watering the Nova facilities people did, and most involved with the program felt that it wasn’t nearly enough, after a few practices the team was running through its drills on what amounted to a brown dirt lot. Even the yard lines that were painted prior to the team’s arrival were more or less faded and gone by the end of the ﬁrst week. Andy Talley, who spent much of summer two-a-days motoring around Gearing Up the practice ﬁelds in his golf cart in an effort to efﬁciently monitor the team’s personnel, was not pleased with the setup.
In what amounted to a paperwork snafu, his high school had failed to properly account for a grade change in an advanced placement course, which meant that he was technically short of the necessary credits to be deemed eligible by the ncaa clearinghouse. In today’s world of ncaa bureaucracy, the error was not easily cleared up. To ensure that student-athletes were not passing off false transcripts, the ncaa not only required a letter from the high school and the Villanova registrar to clear up the error, but also had to verify the teacher’s grade book.
To a man, every 40 Gearing Up Villanova assistant coach had been in favor of excising James, as much for his aloof attitude as for his declining production as a kicker. Many of the assistants felt that James lacked a team mentality, and the staff had grown tired of his habit of pointing the ﬁnger at everyone but himself after a missed kick or botched punt. But Talley felt that trusting a true freshman to handle the kicking chores in a i-a stadium roughly a week after ﬁguring out which buildings his classes were held in was too big a risk.