One of the Arizona Wildcats' most heralded recruits will not play this fall after failing to qualify academically.

Duncan, Okla., linebacker Domonique Petties had petitioned the NCAA for a waiver that would have allowed him to enroll at the UA in time for the start of training camp. The waiver was denied.

At issue was the amount of time it took Petties to finish his high school career.

Petties spent his freshman and sophomore years at Oklahoma City's Del City High School before transferring to Duncan, a small school 80 miles away. In between schools, Petties told the Star in January, he took a year off to deal with a family matter. 

The NCAA requires high school student-athletes to finish their core class requirements in four years; Petties took five.

UA coach Mike Stoops said today that he doesn't like to comment "about a player who's not here," but conceded that the Petties ordeal was a tough one.

"We've exhausted a lot of time trying to get this process to work to our advantage," he said, "but sometimes it doesn't work."

Petties was expected to compete for playing time right away on a defense that's been wracked by injuries.

The recruiting service listed him as a three-star recruit, the nation's 44th-best linebacker and the fifth-best player in Oklahoma. He committed to Arizona despite offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas A&M, Tulsa and Pitt.


The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.