Where have you gone, Eli Holman?

The Hoosier nation turns its lonely eyes to the tragic tale of young Eli Holman.
Holman, lest you’ve forgotten, is the 6-10 center from Richmond, California. His school, Richmond High, was made famous, or rather infamous, in the movie Coach Carter.

Holman shoved a referee early in his junior season and was banned by California’s high school sports governing body from playing another game. However, when his senior season came around, Holman’s school sought reinstatement. They thought Eli had met every requirement of him — anger management sessions, improved grades, good behavior — and had served due time.

The appeal was denied. Turns out somebody filled out the paperwork incorrectly. Another appeal was lodged.

Then, Holman got shot. While walking to into a hotel for a party, a bullet grazed Holman’s shoulder. Understandably shaken, Holman announced that he was giving up his appeal and would not even return to school at Richmond. He would finish his high school education from home and then move to Indiana.

But then he was reinstated.

He came back and dominated. Richmond won 12 straight games, making a deep run into the playoffs.

All seemed right.

Then, Eli Holman and his assistant coach Lonnie Coleman stopped taking phone calls. To that point they’d been open and available, always willing to discuss Eli’s struggles and successes and bright future.

Many people assumed their silence to indicate Eli was having trouble qualifying for admission to Indiana.

Then, while at Huber Winery in Southern Indiana, Kelvin Sampson confirmed as much. However, he was optimistic that Holman still had a good shot.

A prospective athlete must now satisfy requirements based on a sliding scale. There’s no longer a set GPA  or set SAT score he must achieve. There’s now a direct relationship between the two; a student with a 3.0 GPA needs only a 620 on the SATs to qualify, whereas a student with a 2.0 GPA must score 1010 to be eligible.

Holman was supposed to report to Bloomington some time this week for orientation. All indications are he has yet to arrive. Both he and Coleman have not answered calls or returned phone messages in the last week.

We’re trying to determine now whether or not Holman can still qualify by either taking summer courses to raise his GPA or taking the SAT again. I began combing through the piles and piles of NCAA rules and bylaws and everything and nearly passed out.

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