ASU Gives Football Recruit His NLI Qualified Release

April 28, 2003

Arizona State University has granted 2003 football signee Chijioke Onyenegeche his qualified release from the National Letter of Intent (NLI) that he signed in February which will allow him to enroll at the school of his choice, Sun Devil head football coach Dirk Koetter announced Monday. Onyenegeche will not be allowed to compete for one year and will lose a season of competition.

Onyenegeche has the right to appeal to the NLI Steering Committee the one year penalty. If granted he could participate right away.

Onyenegeche was part of a Top 20, nationally-recognized class for the Sun Devils this spring. Since that time, Onyenegeche, of San Francisco City College, has expressed a desire not to attend ASU due to the fact that his position coach, Ron English (cornerbacks), left ASU to coach the secondary at the University of Michigan.

ASU requested the NLI Steering Committee to review Onyenegeche's NLI. Last week the NLI Steering Committee upheld the letter's validity.

'Chijioke has reiterated to us that he does not want to attend Arizona State,' said Koetter, who has spoken to Chijioke, 'and we respect that wish. Therefore, we are giving him his qualified release which allows him to attend any institution he desires. We allowed the appeal process to run its course and were pleased that the letter was ruled valid. It validated to everyone that ASU and the Pacific-10 Conference Office acted in proper management of the national letter of intent. We pride our program on having great team chemistry and if Chijioke does not want to be a part of it then we will give him his release so that he can enroll elsewhere.'

Arizona State opens the 2003 football campaign at home on Saturday, Sept. 6 versus Northern Arizona at 7 p.m. at Sun Devil Stadium/Frank Kush Field.

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