It looks like the college playing days for former Miami safety Ray-Ray Armstrong are officially over. After being dismissed from the Hurricanes program for unspecified reasons in July, Armstrong has had his eligibility denied at his new stop, Faulkner University.
The NAIA program made the announcement Tuesday evening. The reason behind the move was because UM had declared Armstrong ineligible for NCAA competition. Per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, here’s the rule from the NAIA:
“Any student who has completed eligibility or who has been permanently banned in a given sport at any four-year institution, either NAIA-affiliated or other, shall have no eligibility remaining in that sport within the NAIA… Such a student cannot regain eligibility in that sport at an NAIA institution.”
Armstrong still had eligibility left — he had been attending Faulkner for the past month and was just one class shy of a sports management degree — but was apparently banned from playing football. Though UM never gave a reason why Armstrong was given the boot, it’s believed that there were more NCAA-related issues with him. Armstrong was suspended for the first four games of the 2011 season for receiving impermissible benefits from ex-booster Nevin Shapiro, but has not been punished by the NCAA for anything else since.
A statement from Faulkner said that Miami attempted to get Armstrong reinstated so he could play, but the NCAA ruled that the school did not have the authority to do so.
“We’re disappointed in the ruling, obviously,” Faulkner athletics director and head football coach Brent Barker said in a release. “We respect the great job the NAIA Eligibility Center does for our student-athletes, but we thought Ray Ray’s situation was unique and unprecedented, and deserved a positive ruling. I most of all hate it for him, because he has fit in so well on our campus with our student body and has really been a leader in our locker room with a lot of our younger players.”
Armstrong previously tried to file an injunction against Miami that would allow him practice until the NCAA determined if he violated any bylaws. That injunction was later dropped.