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June 4, 2013

Cornwell confident he'll be able to play

The case to determine whether David Cornwell will be granted another year of eligibility was tabled by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors on Tuesday and a decision could be delayed until a special hearing on June 12.

The board decided to return the case to the OSSAA staff to review new information presented by Cornwell's legal representation.

Cornwell, a four-star quarterback at Norman (Okla.) North, and lawyer Colby Robertson said in a phone interview they believe after the OSSAA staff reviews the information presented briefly before the board during the meeting and a 90-minute gathering with a special investigator, that the issue could be resolved sooner.

"We expect that it will be decided before that day," Robertson said. "They could come to some decision before the 12th. The 12th is an appeal hearing in the event that we need it. What we're hoping for, what we're confident, is that we won't even need to have a hearing on the 12th because they'll make the right decision."

Cornwell said: "We clearly meet the two criteria in the rules and the constitution. We couldn't control my mother's illness and I didn't make academic progress that semester, so it meets it clearly. That's why we're so confident it won't even make it to June 12."

Rated as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback and the No. 66 prospect in the Rivals100, Cornwell has been engaged in a legal battle with the OSSAA board of directors. He was ruled ineligible for this coming season after not attending public school during the 2011 school year in Florida as he attended to his ill mother.

This upcoming school year will be the fifth since the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Cornwell started at Omaha (Neb.) Millard South in the fall of 2009.

After two years in Nebraska, his family moved to Florida in 2011, where Cornwell's mother became sick with an undisclosed illness, and he decided not to attend public school in the fall to care for her. Instead, he took home-school classes.

After the family's stint in Florida, the Cornwells moved to Jones, Okla., where the four-star quarterback played his first season of varsity football in 2012 and threw for 2,742 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 755 yards and six touchdowns.

After such a strong season, the four-star quarterback has been offered by Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Indiana, Kansas, Miami, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Tennessee, Tulsa, Virginia Tech and Washington State.

Cornwell said in a phone interview earlier this week that college coaches have voiced some concern over whether he will play this season.

He hopes that after the OSSAA staff reviews the material presented on Tuesday, plus looks again at the facts of the case, they will rule in his favor.

"We answered all their questions truthfully and completely and we're still confident about our case, very confident," Cornwell said. "It meets the rules and the criteria so I'm confident."



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