TULSA (AP) -- The NCAA has denied the University of Tulsa's appeal in the eligibility case involving safety Demarco Nelson.
Nelson was ruled academically ineligible to compete on Aug. 27. School officials say they learned of the NCAA's decision regarding the appeal on Wednesday.
Officials say Nelson can red-shirt this season and return to the field in 2014 as a fifth-year senior if he meets the appropriate academic requirements.
Director of Athletics Derrick Gragg says education is a priority for Tulsa's student-athletes. He says Demarco's focus needs to be on his academic progress toward a degree.
Head coach Bill Blankenship says Nelson needs to concentrate his efforts on academics and be in a situation to play and graduate next year.
Nelson is three-year starter from Glenpool.